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About Evolett

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    Magic in aSoIaF

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  1. When @Lollygag offered the information about the color wheel earlier in this thread, my initial thought was that it was not directly relevant as GRRM mentions rainbows but there are so few painters in ASOIAF. But the centrality of Dunk’s shield in decoding the color symbolism and Tanselle’s assurance that she can mix any color makes it clear that the color wheel is important. Of course, we will see Brienne in AFfC go through a similar process of describing to a painter the design she would like on her shield – resulting in a duplication of the shield designed by Dunk & Egg. It certainly appears to be relevant, especially since we not only have a few painters in the story, but also the "Painted Mountains" above Old Valyria, the "Painted Dogs" of the Mountains of the Moon and the painted children Dany sees in Qarth. If we view the rainbow as a natural phenomenon, then the painted version (without indigo), like the Rainbow Guard, is possibly an artificial construct made by man. So it's interesting that the Blue Guard stands out as being uncertain, with Renly having originally reserved the position for Selmy. Brienne fights Loras and claims the place as a boon for her victory. I noticed that all three are associated with the colour blue - Selmy has pale blue eyes, Loras and Brienne are associated with blue sapphires, Loras again with blue forget-me-not flowers woven into a cloak. I tend to think that the blue spot must be occupied by someone with a capacity to act in an unconventional way, or to find unconventional solutions to problems. The above three contenders deviate from the norms of the society in which they live, even Selmy, who earned his title "Barristan the Bold" at the mere age of 10, when he rode in a tourney as a mystery knight. He may be old now but he is still strong, a good fighter and a renowned knight. In the story, blue flowers represent such unconventional people as well. This idea is inherent to the symbolism of blue winter roses, associated with Lyanna, who like Brienne, would have liked to engage in fighting and with Jon, who takes the Night's Watch down an unheard of path by allowing the freefolk to pass the Wall. That blue winter roses grow in a hot-house and a blue flower grows from a crack in the icy Wall also reinforces this idea. Loras is not only different because of sexual orientation, he also finds a nifty way to overcome Gregor Clegane, when he rides a mare against the Mountain's stallion. Notice that Ser Gregor is at once a "mountain" and a "dog," reminding us of the Painted Mountains and the Painted Dogs. I would say the true blue position within the natural rainbow probably belongs to Jon Snow. Tanselle is not only a painter, as a puppeteer, she is an artist in the true sense of the word. It also suggests that the painter "pulls the strings," is the controlling factor in the game. She is in possession of all the colours, which she can mix and match as she chooses. Brienne's shield is also painted by a woman. Dunk's shield is most definitely associated with death via the dying sun and the elm tree. Amongst other interesting qualities, elm wood was used for coffins and the tree itself as a gallows (as we see with Brienne as well). As a mystery knight, Dunk was the "Gallows Knight." But importantly, the elm's leaves are green and I feel this relates to "only death can pay for life" and the theme of seasonality, which is out of sync in Martin's world. The citations you provided emphasizes this point: The heat, (the hot Summer) must be slain - the scene where Dunk defeats Aerion Brightflame with the shield: Summer (or autumn) ends when it is slain by the Gallows Knight with the shield of death. But that is necessary for winter to set in and for a regular spring season to be born: Indeed, no one has yet laid claim to spring, that's what we are all waiting for. Dunk here represents the mythological dying and resurrecting god, who by his death and resurrection, ushers in another seasonal cycle. Greener than the banner of the Tyrells also alludes to vegetation and to the fertility of the land that the Tyrells as the breadbasket of the realm are noted for. It's interesting that Dunk nurtures an "Egg," while Brienne, whose shield is an image of Dunk's, looks after a "Pod," which alludes to seeds in a pod. Together, we can think of them as mentors to the representatives of Fauna and Flora. I wonder if the deep pool in Dunk's meadow is blue or if we can associate Dunk with the blue sky in particular? His entire biography is quite unconventional.
  2. Oh nice, I like this! I noticed this line on lemon pie and obsidian a while ago but couldn't connect it then. But of course obsidian is glass and its baked in the fires of a volcano like a pie! Then there's this from one of Jon's chapters: If lemon pie = obsidian, could this mean obsidian isn't good enough? Jon needs a good clear crystal. A pane, perhaps a shield rather than a sword (thinking of Dunk and his shield here). The Wall is a basically a giant crystal and a shield. I'm wondering now if a clear shield might refract the light from the blue sapphire eyes of the Others and wights and render them powerless... wasn't there a tale about Serwyn and the Mirror Shield? If that worked with dragons, why not something similar against the Others? From the other perspective - if indigo is linked to obsidian and indigo is hard to overcome then something stronger than indigo must be employed and actually, that can only be white light, which encompasses all colors.
  3. I'm afraid I haven't read the Hedge Knight, obviously I should. What strikes me here is the iron and your thoughts on Dunk opening a door that tries to shut him out. I feel reminded of that other purpose of iron - keeping the spirits of the kings of winter locked up in their tombs. Releasing the soul from the body by cremation is very important and demonstrated by Daenerys when she burns Drogo to release his spirit into the Night Lands. Mel also releases the soul "from its icy chains" when she burns a victim (as stated in her prayer) and fire is also the key breaking the magic binding the wights to their masters. I see this as freeing their souls from control. So the bound spirits of the kings of winter are an oddity because they can be seen as spirits of winter that are not set free. The door is closed. It's interesting that Dunk opens the door with a shield, rather than with a sword, and possibly a reference to Jon Snow who is a "shield" at the Wall and Ghost (at once a white shadow/kingsguard/shield) and spirit reference? Nice catch I'm thinking iron must not be restored.
  4. Yellow @SeamsI agree with your assessment of yellow and indigo being on opposite ends of the range, also your assessment of indigo being a hard nut to crack. I've dug into the yellow and green. Yellow – Emmon Cuy of the sunflowers. Yellow is definitely a sun symbol and I’m convinced it’s a female symbol rather than a male solar symbol. Sunflowers – flowers are a feminine symbol. Tyrell golden rose – very reminiscent of the sun in its depiction and color – also female. The Rhoynish Sun in the sigil of House Martell was Nymeria’s symbol. Yunkai, the Yellow City, calls herself “the queen of cities.” The Maiden-made-of-Light of the GEoTD from which most of this originates is also a female sun symbol. At first I assigned yellow to the Mother but after looking at the three Emmons, have decided yellow must represent the Crone on the Seven-Pointed-Star. Why? Yunkai may be think of itself as the "queen of cities" but it is old and crumbling. Martell sigil: The Rhoynish Sun is speared which can allude to its being diminished and / or its sharpness – the latter evident in Dornish temperament and especially the war-mongering sand snakes (also recall Obara's story of choosing the spear over her mother's tears) After so many millennia, the Maiden-made-of-light is an outdated deity, comparable to a crone. - The Crone in the triple goddess model brings the life cycle to closure, she’s the gateway to death. At the same time, she’s wise and provides guidance. Her symbols are the lantern and the key. Emmon Cuy’s sunflowers lead us to House Tyrell, to the golden rose and to Lady Olenna Tyrell. She has sour breath and has lost her teeth (link to lemons!). She’s a crone, she’s the Queen of Thorns and is known for her sharp tongue. She ends Joffery’s life by poisoning his wine with the Strangler (crone as gateway to death). Bar Emmon Bar Emmon turns a splotchy grey and becomes powerless: .. alludes to aging and becoming feeble – a link to an old man or woman House Bar Emmon is of Sharp Point and they provide the ship Swordfish which splits the hulk containing wildfire pots apart, initiating the blaze on the Blackwater. Sharp point and Swordfish = Queen of Thorn's sharp tongue. Also, as the obnoxious Biter chews Brienne’s cheek, she likens his long tongue to a sword. Lady Olenna’s elimination of Joffery sets the stage for Cersei’s wroth and the ensuing events – like the Swordfish, Lady Olena initiates the metaphorical blaze in King’s Landing. Additionally, we get a lantern reference at Sharp Point: the Bar Emmon castle has a large watchtower crowned by a great fire. Emmon Frey Emmon Frey is married to Gemma Lannister at a young age. She was twice his age. Emmon Frey’s prominent Adam’s apple is the link to Olena's Strangler and to the ability to speak or sing. The Adam’s apple houses the vocal chords. As the poison constricts Joffery’s throat he can no longer speak but coughs. I think apples in general are linked to singing – Sansa being a breed of apple and book Sansa knowing all the songs, loving Bards and singing etc. So the singing also connects back to Olenna Tyrell, or the Tyrells in general via the “Three Singers,” the three intertwined weirwoods growing at Highgarden. And we notice Olena plots to marry Sansa the singer to her eldest son, and she kills Joff, who happened to have a good “singing voice.” All Emmons who represent the crone are male (perhaps that's why they are Emmons (or Aemons?) and not Lemons). I’ve written about this phenomenon here. Walder Frey is another who symbolically usurps the Crone’s role. Yellow represents the Crone of the Faith. Green Thinking again of the rainbow as a symbol of guardianship and especially green as the lynchpin color brings to mind the green men who are guardians of the weirwoods on the Isle of Faces, also the Order of the Green Hand of the Gardeners of the Reach, an Order to whom the Manderlys still claim membership. I see the weirwoods as female, as a representation of Mother Earth on Westeros, revered by the children of the forest who sing songs of the earth. The weirwoods are probably the real "lynchpin" holding everything together. The green men then guard the female trees to keep them from harm. Guyard Morrigen, also known as Guyard the Green of the Rainbow Guard Guyard the "green man" was not at his post when Renly was killed. (Renly himself showing both green man imagery - his green armor which stands sentry at the entrance to his tent, and female green imagery, this imagery reflected by his alliance with Loras, Highgarden, marriage to Maergary etc. ) Morrigen is probably a nod at the Morrigan of Irish mythology. Like the Morrigen sigil which depicts a crow on a green field, the Morrigan appears in the form of a crow. According to the Wiki: She is believed to be a manifestation of the earth- and sovereignty-goddess, chiefly representing the goddess's role as guardian of the territory and its people. She is also associated with sovereignty, the land and livestock. The Morrígan is mainly associated with war and fate, especially with foretelling doom and death in battle. She is often described as a trio of individuals, all sisters, called 'the three Morrígna' and in this aspect bears resemblance to the triple goddess. Green represents the Mother of the Fatih. Still working on the indigo.
  5. The orange Lord Ashford - possibly connecting to Hotah's ash-and-iron wife and my interpretation of orange representing iron? I also just recalled the Martell words - Unbowed, unbent, unbroken. As yet, Hotah and his ash and iron wife live up to this reputation, but for how long? Will the Martell's be wiped out in the books as well? Im not sure about the separation. Lannister red (it's usually called crimson) may be associated with blood and yellow (sun) with fire. Both would strengthen iron or orange iron swords + red or yellow would be stronger than iron alone. Actually, when you add iron + blood + fire you get Lightbringer, lol.
  6. @Seams Hmm, an interesting and difficult topic. I must admit to not really having examined the rainbow in terms of Renly’s Rainbow Guard but my investigation is related, so perhaps you’ll find it helpful. I’ve tried to map the rainbow colors to the seven aspects of the Faith (not complete). The first things I considered were the rainbow’s appearance after a bout of rain or a storm and its symbolism as a binding covenant – God’s promise never again to destroy the earth by flood. This could connect to Storm’s End and the story of Duran Godsgrief and Elenei but even more so to the Hammer of the Waters which caused significant flooding and the breaking of the Arm of Dorne. Robert of course is heavily associated with the Warhammer. Let’s just assume Robert is symbolic of an ancient character involved in causing the Hammer of the Waters. His gentler younger brother Renly then represents the deity who promises never to destroy the planet by flood again, hence the Rainbow Guard as a symbol of the covenant. Applying this logic to the Faith then holds similar meaning. Though no one has figured out how these things fit together, there are noticeable similarities between the Faith, the Wall and the Others. In a nutshell, I think the Faith on Westeros can be viewed as a guardian against the proliferation of fire magic, its rainbow colors testifying to the promise of the covenant never to destroy the continent by flood (or by the Others) and keeping to that promise so long as the conditions (no fire magic) are met. The Wall that reflects these rainbow colors is also a “guardian” of course. The binding covenant here is the NW oath sworn by the black brothers. Notice that like the seven colors of the rainbow, the oath contains seven binding pledges, all those beginning with “I”: Night gathers, and now my watch begins. It shall not end until my death. 1. I shall take no wife, hold no lands, father no children. 2. I shall wear no crowns and win no glory. 3. I shall live and die at my post. 4. I am the sword in the darkness. 5. I am the watcher on the walls. 6. I am the fire that burns against the cold, the light that brings the dawn, the horn that wakes the sleepers, the shield that guards the realms of men. 7. I pledge my life and honor to the Night's Watch, for this night and all the nights to come Melisandre’s fire magic and her destruction of the “rainbow” represent a breach of that sacred covenant, in fact, Loras is also guilty, since he destroys his own rainbow guard. Through Cersei’s meddling, the Faith is now armed and ready to strike back. It’s been noted above that the Valyrians seem to have shunned Westeros after the arrival of the First Men. Dragonstone was built on an island and the Targaryens only took refuge there because of the Doom, keeping to themselves until Aegon the Conqueror rose with his dragons. But Aegon was wise. His embracing of the Faith can be considered a kind of truce. Aegon the Cruel shattered the military arm of the Faith but the religion itself remained intact, no cause for alarm – until the arrival of Mel, perhaps even before her, with Aerys the Mad King and his fascination with wildfire and reactivation of the Alchemists Guild. The colors of the Faith As noted in the OP, white light is refracted by a prism to produce the rainbow colors, this being a feature of the crystals used by the Faith. I believe this splitting of light alludes to “splitting” the power of fire magic, light coming from the fiery sun. I think this is intimately connected to the destructive effects of fire magic on the planet, more clearly demonstrated by the Doom but also by the widespread desertification of Essos (that’s another topic). In view of the faces of the Seven, warped fertility magic related to the concept of a mother goddess (maid, mother, crone) and horned lord (warrior, smith father), and practiced over centuries on Essos and even on Westeros, are also part of the equation (sorry, that’s again another topic but essential to the interpretation – more on that here). Let’s say white light that is split into its constituent parts represents a dismantling of the forces associated with virulent fire magic into more sustainable forms. George expresses this dismantling very forcefully: Shattering light conjures up darkness in my mind but what we get is the rainbow. So now to map the colors onto the Seven Pointed Star. This is where Renly’s Rainbow Guard may be helpful, and perhaps the main purpose of the guard in the text. Examining colors in relation to people, animals and other items might also be fruitful. Brienne the Blue: Brienne is the easiest. She’s associated with blue sapphires and the blue waters of Tarth. That blue is often associated with innocence is supported by the text. The Blue Bard was innocent. Sansa thinks of Loras in his blue sapphire armour as innocent looking. Tyene is portrayed as innocent as a maid: Tyene is no innocent of course. Notice the summer association. And the otherworldly innocence. Brienne also has blue innocent eyes and she is a maiden. In fact, she's one of the few truly innocent maidens. Maidens are innocent. Blue also stands for the water elemen and for the Maiden. Mapped onto the Seven-Pointed-Star – Blue translates to the Maiden. Red – Ser Robar Royce. Red is the colour of Blood. Ramsay’s red stallion is named Blood. Tyrion rides a blood red stallion to war. Kings and warriors with a particularly bloody reputation often have the epithet “Red” (Redhands, Red Kings (Boltons) etc.) In his rage, Loras kills Robar Royce. Dany’s Unsullied soldiers have been “watered with blood.” Red / Blood maps on to the Warrior Orange - Lord Bryce Caron Orange is assigned to the Smith and perhaps to iron/ or fire. I got there by a convoluted route and so am very grateful for your discovery of “oranges and feet,” because this confirms my notion. Flame is often orange rather than red in the narrative and flames are essential to the Smith’s trade. Septon Meribald’s horned feet are the clue. Not only did the Smith strengthen his feet, we can view horned feet in relation to working steel/iron. The secret to both horned feet and iron is the process of applying pressure as in hammering (in the case of iron/steel) or walking barefoot (horned feet). There’s a difference between iron and steel, the latter being stronger and more flexible. Now, the Hornfoot Men beyond the Wall are noted for their black, horned feet and for walking barefoot in the snow. But, after being exposed to the cold for too long, one Hornfoot man suffers from frostbite and will never walk again. He is slung across the back of a horse like a sack of grain. Following the motif, the Hornfoots’ soles can be said to be of iron, which is brittle and can crack. If oranges are symbolic of iron and of brittle feet, then perhaps the whole “Foote” corresponds to steel, and that’s why Bryce Caron of the mere oranges succumbed to Philip Foote. Septon Meribald carries oranges and strengthens his feet by walking barefoot. Perhaps the strengthening is equivalent to “steeling them?” But he gives his oranges away just in case? Because steel is strong, but no match for Valyrian steel? Doran Martell cannot walk and ignores his blood oranges, blood oranges perhaps a euphemism for true Valyrian steel? Doran is protected by Areo Hotah, Captain of his guard. Hotah uses an ax and guess what? It’s made of iron: So, in addition to his Fisher King image, Martell is not protected by superior steel but by iron, which is brittle and may break under certain circumstances. He’s not protected by a sword, but by an ax and to make matter worse, both he and Hotah fail to pick up the blood oranges before they drop. The Andals who brought the Faith to Westeros are associated (by etchings in stone in the Vale) with the double-sided ax as well as the Seven-Pointed-Star. Hotah's ax is double-sided and he is a guard, possibly with an inferior weapon. The ds-ax obviously gave way to the Seven-Pointed-Star, which seems to represent the better guard. Hehe, crackpot or no, it’s fun. I’ll stop here. I have some more ideas on the other colours …. Later.
  7. Evolett

    Puns and Wordplay

    I need to catch up on the latest posts here.... Just wanted to say perhaps you're right - Lord Commander and Long Claw can be connected to Lann the Clever - via Jamie Lannister, LC of the Kingsguard and member of a house represented by a beast with claws. Didn't Mormont or Jon say something about Longclaw being a fitting name because both bears and direwolves have claws?
  8. Evolett

    Puns and Wordplay

    It may be a moot point in the very end, yes. But before that, I don't think the Kingsmoot will be moot at all because it brings Euron to power and he has stated that he is the Storm. He is also very much associated with Silence. Kingsmoot can also be translated to King's Silence. And that's what Euron also personifies - Silence. I've argued elsewhere that Euron is not in the least bit interested in binding or riding real dragons. He wants the dragon queen but I would argue he's more interested in raising the dead and contributing to the Long Night itself. Apart from indications that he's gearing up to being a greenseer similar to Bran (dreams of flying in his childhood etc.), his ship is called Silence, the ship has a woman without a mouth as the figurehead, he's ripped out the tongues of his crew and the Dusky woman he gives to Victarion is silent as well, her tongue also gone. The embodiment of silence is Euron Greyjoy. And though this may be difficult to substantiate, I see the North and the white walkers as very associated with Silence as well. As long as the WW don't speak in their tongue of craking ice, they are silent, very silent indeed. A snow landscape is silent as well and the as a cardinal direction, north is associated with silence. So @Seams, the promised song. All this silence made me think of Simon and Garfunkel's song - Sound of Silence - and I feel the lyrics are most revealing: Sound of Silence It begins thus: Hello darkness, my old friend I've come to talk with you again Because a vision softly creeping Left its seeds while I was sleeping And the vision that was planted in my brain Still remains Within the sound of silence But check it out for yourself. Very Long Night, if you ask me. I'm not in GRRM's head but had I thought of such a story and been a fan of Simon and Garfunkel and this song, I would have found it absolutely perfect - and not only in terms of the lyrics. The name Simon recalls Symeon Star-Eyes, to me a direct hint to the white walkers and wights (blue eyes). Garfunkel also seems relevant if one considers the German translation of 'Gar' and 'Funkel' Gar means well done or cooked (see this post for more on this). Funkel means twinkle (as in twinkling stars). Funke means a spark.
  9. Evolett

    Puns and Wordplay

    Some seriously excellent examples you've put forward here - my goodness . I could write a whole essay on read/reed and though the other two are new to me, I can contribute some thoughts toward wolf and flow. Read/reed: for this I'd have to point to my Fisher Queen analysis and theory because it's directly related to the wordplay. In a nutshell, I believe the Fisher Queens were the embodiment of knowledge - it is from them that many things flow: knowledge, the weaving/sewing motif in relation to magic and to keeping kingdoms and states together, as well as to seeing in terms of foresight and prophecy. On account of available clues, I see the Crannogmen (and the Reeds) and the Dothraki/Dosh Khaleen as descendants and inheritors of this heritage. But even if you don't subscribe to that, read and reed makes sense just by considering Howland and Jojen Reed alone. Howland's quest to the Isle of Faces is such a clue. I doubt he goes there to admire nature. Through it's weirwoods, the isle is a source of knowledge - 'green knowledge' in particular, the knowledge of the trees, which of course ties into read as in knowledge and reed. Equally significant - Jojen provides the knowledge Bran needs about his warging ability - he is Bran's teacher - a true read/reed. Crannogmen weave huts which float on the swamp / the Reed's castle floats (like those of the F. Queens) and can be hidden from view (weaving light to cause illusion, another FQ trait). Weaving is thus also symbolic of illusionary magic and of weaving stories as Meera does when she tells the story of the KotLT. So nice a catch here especially because it is Widow's Wail that destroys knowledge. In terms of my personal theory, Widow's Wail relates to the Dosh Khaleen, widows of dead khals and wise women of the Dothraki. They are all that's left of the Fisher Queen culture that was destroyed at some point, together with their Silver Sea. The FQ destruction (signified by the Wail) goes hand in hand with the destruction of knowledge (as in the book). When the FQ's were destroyed, so was knowledge and wisdom as they propagated it. Indeed, Joff does find himself in need of a better 'reed' - he knows nothing our Joff and I agree - the boy needs to be killed for a smarter man to be born. Wonderful catch! This too is superb (I also have a song for you coming up ). I'm pretty sure this is intentional on GRRM's part, like we've reason to believe with the 'Song of Sixpence'. 'You hit me with a flower' relates directly to the flower/thorn wordplay where I envisage the flower as disguising the thorn as elaborated on in a previous post. This is another example of a murky river and dirty waters associated with Tyrion. Remember he puts the drains of Lannisport back in order and he travels the Sorrows, another murky portion of river where we find the stone men and references to the Shrouded Lord. The swamps of the Neck where the Crannogmen live and around Moat Cailin also belong to this set, as does the Greenblood in Dorne, another murky river. All these murky waters are related to death (not being able to breathe/finding it difficult to suck air through a reed) and ulitmately to resurrection (wights) IMO. Notice the mists that lie over the river in the above passage, which correlate with the fog covering the river in the Sorrows as well as the implications of the Greenblood as in Bloodstone - a green stone with red inclusions (it is here that Ser Arys severed head drips blood into the Greenblood). I really see the references to Green here (throughout) as a reference to the consciousness of the weirwoods and the 'murky' a reference to the corrupted consciousness of the trees. Wolf and Flow - hehe - nice. This is what I can come up with: recall Arya is nicknamed Lumpyface/ Lumpyhead by Lommy Greenhands. Then think of Varamyr, known as Lump, his dead brother known as 'Bump'. I think this is all related. Perhaps also Lommy/Lumpy. Lumpyhead/face implies a lump on the face or head and I relate this to a 'lump' that denotes a third eye (presumably on the forehead) or a lump directly on the crown of the head as in the crown chakra. Both are entrances and exits for supernatural ability. We know Varamyr was a warg. He therefore had an open third eye. Arya is also a warg - hence Lumpyhead/face. The open third eye, or the ability to warg I again associate with my Fisher Queens, from whence I believe this ability came as a result of their abuse. The addition of 'green' im Lommy Greenhands is again a reference to the diversion of activities in respect of knowledge transferred to the trees, previously not a feature of my favourite Queens but one changed and adapted after the migration of the FM to Westeros. So wolf and flow would be a reference to warging (the wolf bond) and to the bond between dragons and humans (flow -as in the flowing stone melted by dragonfire). That's how I would interpret that. Just another comment on sewing, knitting and weaving. It does represent 'sewing' a kingdom together, but not that alone. As stated above, it represents illusion, magic and learning as well. In mythology, weaving is attributed to female goddesses only. Check out the Norns, Fates or the Moirai. Arya bears the Needle and her needle is a sword. We also know her stitches are crooked, she's not that good at sewing. I do not really see her as stitching a fabric together as in stitching a kingdom together. That's Sansa's domain (and Old Nan's). Sansa is the expert sewer here. Needle is really a sword - that which puts asunder. Needle as a sword can be compared to a scissors - a cutter - a cutter of life - and that's what Arya is. In terms of weaving, she severs the thread, ends the sewing, ends life. Weasel as an opposite to sewing would also fit in here. But GRRM may be double-playing us here because of course we need a needle to be able to sew at all so I guess Arya is also part of the 'sewing' process but she's perhaps part of sweeping away the old to make way for the new. And while we're on the subject of weaving, I'm really thrilled to have finally found the connection to WEX. The wordplay here is Wex/tex (text). Text stems from texare, which is latin for weaving, as in weaving a story and that's exactly what Wex does. He cannot speak but he weaves a story by answering questions and drawing with a dagger. Note the dagger/needle association (that's what I see here). I also see a link between dire and dyer but need to think that through first.
  10. Evolett

    Puns and Wordplay

    Since I speak German, I’ve been aware of thorn/dorn/Dorne as well as horse/ross/rose for a while. I have an interpretation for ross as in horse and /rose but the connection to whores/horse only came to my attention after you mentioned it here. I think ross/rose becomes clear when we combine Lyanna’s riding prowess with the blue winter rose symbolism surrounding her. Together, the horse and the rose make an excellent rider, also evident in Ser Loras, the knight of flowers who’s an excellent jouster and rider. It’s another way of expressing the centaur, the human rider merged with the horse, which has skinchanging implications. The horse and rose analogy also extends to someone like Pate who is willing to pay a gold dragon to claim Rosey’s virginity – the twist here is he wants to ‘mount’ Rosey. So with this in my back pocket, the horse/whores wordplay became more apparent. In most of the narrative, men do not spend quality time making love to whores (with the exception of Tyrion). Whores are bought and paid for. Men mount them for their own pleasure. The Dothraki carry this to the extreme, mounting any woman they please and in the case of a woman taken as a slave, several men mounting one after the other. Tywin also has poor Tysha mounted by the entire garrison and lastly by Tyrion himself, as we know. In a parallel to Pate, Tyrion has to pay her a gold dragon for his turn. After the wedding night, Drogo also takes to mounting Dany until she learns ‘the way of the seven sighs’ from Doreah to teach him a mutual, pleasurable way of making love. I can’t say I’ve figured this out entirely but I suspect mutually consensual loving sex is one of the keys to ‘waking the dragon’ while the violent rape of women appears to be a ritual necessary to perhaps raising the dead – as in horse/whores/ and rose as in rising. Hodor serves as Bran’s ‘horse’ and while he willingly allows Bran to physically mount him in order to carry him around, Bran’s ‘mounting’ Hodor by taking over his entire body is something else. Bran does penetrate Hodor against the giant’s will and though he does not fight back, he retreats to a corner inside himself during the time Bran fills his physical form. It’s actually as violating as forcibly mounting a woman – another form of rape. Bloodraven tells Bran that once a horse has been ridden, it is more likely to accept another – much as a woman who has been raped and cowed is more likely to resign herself to her fate and accept another. I recall Osha commenting on the size of Hodor’s penis when he emerges from the pool bringing the expression ‘hung like a horse’ to mind. Can’t find the passage right now. It seems to me that GRRM is equating skinchanging with rape and this is probably one of the differences between the bond that binds dragons to humans vrs. skinchangers to their beasts. (At this point, I have to differentiate warging from skinchanging – they are not the same.) Speaking of Hodor, there might be a correlation between Hodor and Odor. Giants have poor eyesight compensated by their sense of smell. The giants beyond the wall also stink. When Jon first meets Mag the Mighty, Tormund tells him that the giant thinks Jon is a girl. We don’t know just how bad a giant’s eyesight is but the inference is he smelt, rather than saw Jon. Why would have he smelt a girl? My feeling is Mag ‘smelt’ the 'sweet scent of blue winter roses’ on Jon. At Queenscrown Hodor makes several rounds of the room, inspecting the privy each time, a place likely to smell. He begins to whimper precisely when Jon arrives with the wildlings in the village below. The storm starts in earnest too and Hodor really panics then. But does he panic because of the storm or because he ‘smelt’ Jon and the danger he was in below? Interestingly, Bran momentarily inhabits Hodor for the first time here. Can’t put my finger on it, but there’s something there. Anyway, there seems to be a lot of wordplay around horses, whores, mount (the verb), mount (the noun) etc. Horses are also mounts and we have the Mountain that Rides – a giant that not only rides but rapes as well. The Stallion that Mounts the World – the stallion that ‘fucks’ the world…
  11. Evolett

    Puns and Wordplay

    Surprising what all this celestial imagery brings to light, but perhaps it's not surprising - the moon, like the flower, is a feminine symbol. @Seams' thread has been very helpful in bringing several loose ends together for me. My official thanks and appreciation for opening it . I've always paid attention to wordplay but several eyes and minds are better than one with the added bonus of aiding in forging more connections and rethinking ideas that might have led in the wrong direction. Flowers became a big topic for me while researching my frozen fire post. It was so extensive that I ended up omitting details such as the flower/thorn symbolism as i see it above, saving that for another day. But I think it's central to the story in the sense that the thorn on its own represents the bloody violence that has plagued the planet unhindered for millenia. It's the thorn of war, rape and a symbol of the the aggressive potential of man (male). Now is the time for the 'flowers', heralded by the bleeding comet (the flowering comet), which returns with a female principle attached, to take the sting out of the thorn and put things right (hopefullly). That's how I see it. Just another note on thorns - Brienne is another thorn - unattractive and reviled by men and women alike. In a nutshell, she is our ultimate 'flowerless' female warrior but she's sworn an oath to find her companion flower - Sansa. So perhaps my thoughts on Lady Forlorn are not that far-fetched. Brienne is a sword, a thorn sworn to the flower. Sword/sworn/thorn - what lovely wordplay :-) ETA - George expresses this flower/thorn dichotomy in Arya and Sansa's arcs. Arya, the violent and vengeful thorn (represented by Needle) and Sansa the flower.
  12. Evolett

    Puns and Wordplay

    The flower/thorn motif is one of disguise and alluring deception, of hiding dangerous thorns beneath a bouquet of innocent, beautiful sweet scented flowers. The flowers do not advertise the thorns nor are they supposed to. They hide the secret weapon underneath, which strikes when the time is right. The motif is similar to Oberyn and Doran Martell - the grass that hides the snake, the difference being that flower and thorns are united in one person, in a few select women. Tyenne and Nym are very good examples. Beautiful, seductive and alluring but very deadly. You get hit and go down without even realizing it. Obara does not fit this bill because she's too obviously aggressive. She's a real thorn. As is Ser Alliser Thorne, a warrior, aggressive, always angry and ready to draw a weapon, much like Obara. Lady Olenna's inofficial title as the Queen of Thorns which no one says to her face also outs her as a real thorn - it is no secret, everyone knows how thorny she can be. She's also a crone, her former beauty faded - she is no longer alluring in any way. Loras, decked out in flowery raiment and known officially as the Knight of Flowers is the male version of this seductive hidden deadliness. He's even described as beautiful. It's thus no surprise he engages in the deception of riding a white mare in heat to unhorse the Mountain during the tourney. The flower attracts its victim, lures it into a false sense of security and then moves in for the kill. Regarding Rhaegar (Aerys is my candidate), the purpose of the blue winter roses was the same: to lure and to disguise the warrior aspect from him, not for him to recognize it. In my opinion, the blue winter rose, like the wolf-blood, symbolizes a genetic trait as well as Lyanna and Jon. In Lyanna's case, her wolf-blood is the thorn and the 'stabbing' thus takes place during the conception of her son. The target is that paternal trait that would otherwise make a 'monster' of her son. As a trait, it's of course introduced by Bael the Bard, the deceiver who steals the Stark maiden and leaves his (he earned it) rose in her place. It passes down the line until it finally reaches its destination, specifically in a woman. The theme of sniffing is also related to this I think. If my analysis is correct, then Sansa has the flowers but not the thorns (Lady killed). I really like Isobel's catch on the Iron Throne as a rose with swords as thorns and your thoughts here are symbolic of my view above. My Targ inheritance project is progressing slowly. Very complex and so much to go through but it looks like all my designated mother's of the three heads of the dragon have a 'flowery' inheritance - different flowers though. So a couple more bits of possible wordplay: Storm(of petals)born /Thorn Horn/Thorn Forlorn/thorn (re my previous post)
  13. Evolett

    Puns and Wordplay

    Just spotted these cool observations on lemons and lemoncake by @Lost Melnibonean
  14. Evolett

    Puns and Wordplay

    Some thoughts in connection with the runes on Illyn Payne’s new sword: While looking at female swords – Dark Sister and Lady Forlorn, I realized that Dark Sister pretty much describes Visenya, who first wielded it. Now, Visenya and Arya also share many characteristics and in particular, Arya is a very Dark Sister. So that got me wondering whether Rhaenys and Sansa (who also correlate), neither of whom had/have special swords, can also be described in terms of a female sword. Lady Forlorn, currently owned by Lyn Corbray fits the bill for both. Both Rhaenys and Sansa have the ‘forlorn’ surrounding them, Rhaenys dying alone in Dorne and Sansa was left forlorn and alone in King’s Landing. There is one more forlorn lady I’ll come to in a bit. Sansa’s wolf Lady may also be a nod at Lady Forlorn and this is where Ice comes in. Lady was Ned’s last execution before he was executed by Ilyn Payne. Note the wordplay here: Illyn/Lyn. It’s quite monstrous to be executed with one’s own sword, especially a Valyrian steel sword wrought with magic and sacrifices. I think Ser Illyn felt haunted after the execution and the reason for the runes on Ser Illyn’s new sword is protection from the revnant (either Ned’s or that of the sword). We recall that swords keep the ghosts of the kings of winter within their tomb – in the days of runic writing, the runes probably served this purpose (as on Tristifer Mudd’s tomb). Whatever the case, together, the runes and the wordplay on Illyn/lyn lead to the Corbrays and Royces (who also owned Lady Forlorn for a short while) and of course to Sansa. Sansa notes Lady Forlorn looks like Ice, the steel a dark smoke-grey. There was also a correction to the World Book regarding the sword’s Valyrian origins – apparently, Valyrian steel should not have been part of the description. This means it’s likely not a Valyrian Steel sword. In fact, it failed against Blackfyre. However, Blackfyre and Dark Sister can be regarded as a pair and I think Ice and Lady Forlorn are also a pair – Ice the male and Lady Forlorn its female partner. Lyn Corbray says she has a thirst for a drop of red and I really like this because it’s so full of meaning. A ‘drop of red’ could be blood, wine or simply a drop of colour. Aside from the killing aspect, her thirst could be a drop of blood to turn her into a Valyrian steel sword, a drop of colour pointing to the reforging of ice. When Ice is melted down, the smith tries to colour the sword with red colouring but the steel doesn’t take to it uniformly. Nevertheless, it ripples red and black. Perhaps Ice does not need the colouring because it’s already been infused. Anyway, Ice is melted down into Oathkeeper and Widow’s Wail and the plot kind of thickens here because we have another pair parallel, methinks. The Royce’s ancestral sword ‘Lamentation’, lost at the Storming of the Dragonpit could correspond to Widow’s Wail while Oathkeeper, now in Brienne’s possession could be considered a female sword and pair with Lady Forlorn. Brienne herself is another forlorn lady for a number of reasons. The men who spurn her, her love for Renly whom she lost, her seeing him in Gendry etc (reminds me also of the Sailor’s wife hoping for her lost husband). Of course Brienne has sworn to find Sansa (literally her sworn sword - har!) which brings us back in a circle to Lady Forlorn. Last not but least, when you leave the ‘a’s out of Lyanna, you get Lyn. And Lyanna was one forlorn lady. The whole thing tells a story which needs to be unravelled. I began looking into female swords because I have the feeling Jon is meant to wield a female sword rather than the more conventional theories regarding Dawn etc. Some speculation here: if Blackfyre turns up with fAegon and Jon ends up in battle against him, he must have a sword capable of withstanding Blackfyre. Lady Forlorn once failed against Blackfyre, but with a 'drop of blood' she might be the answer to that same sword. Lyanna needs avenging in my opinion, (I'm not in the R+L=J camp) and what better sword than Lady Forlorn with a drop of blood for that purpose? Not much on the runes but more wordplay – so far runes/ruins remain a bit of an enigma to me. ETA - forgot to add that Lady Forlorn has a red heart pommel! Just hoping she isn't thirsting for Sansa! ETA - Actually, being female, she would be thirsting for a man's blood. Harry the Heir seems like the perfect candidate, red Hair and all. :-)
  15. Evolett

    Puns and Wordplay

    There's definitely a connection between drowned and crowned with extensions to gold/cold, skulls and lemons and I think you're quite right about the correlation between a king being crowned a king being doomed. Further, it all relates to rising from the dead. To take Renly as an example: he is first crowned and later drowns on his own blood after the shadow-attack: The king stumbled into her arms, a sheet of blood creeping down the front of his armor, a dark red tide that drowned his green and gold. More candles guttered out. Renly tried to speak, but he was choking on his own blood. All of him drowns, including his armour. Later he returns as a ghost to lead a host (ghost/host). Jon likely drowns on his own blood as well. It's not that clear because the first wound is said to graze his neck but perhaps the cut went deeper than he realized because after that he seems to go numb, not being able to draw his sword: He cut me. When he put his hand to the side of his neck, blood welled between his fingers. “Why?” Tying this to Renly - Like Renly he returns from the grave but with a difference - his return is physical. He also drowns and has never been crowned. And I'll throw this in to complete the picture - Jon Snow, having returned from the grave, is (will be) Lord of (G)Hosts. Patchface's case is similar to Jon's - he drowns first and then is crowned, crowned with his ridiculous clanging hat. In one of his pronouncements he states : 'under the sea, men wear no hats', essentially - the drowned wear no crowns. So it seems rising in the flesh is only possible if one drowns before being crowned. Crowned/drowned also appears to include gowned. From Jamie's dream: In his dreams, the dead came burning, gowned in swirling green flames. Jaime danced around them with a golden sword, but for every one he struck down two more arose to take his place. It gets quite complex because crowns are also associated with skulls. Volantene Honors have a crowned king on one side and a skull on the other, linking crowns with death and again implying a crowned king is a dead king. Bittersteel's skull is gilded gold, comparable with Visery's molten gold crown - gilding a skull or a head is reminiscent of preservation (think of tarred heads). So again we have this idea of crowns and gold linked to preserving life in one form or other. This brings me to the gold/cold hand as in Symon Silver-Tongue's song: ..Hands of gold are always cold but a woman's hands are warm... Hands of gold are also deathly - Tyrion strangles Shae with a chain of hands of gold. Coldhands is a wight with cold/(gold?) hands. Gold/cold hands are possibly associated with males (Jamie, Coldhands, Tywin's chain of gold hands) and with a 'cold' raising where the flesh is in a state of preservation without any vital processes (re Jamie's dream - golden hand, golden sword - rising dead). I like @Isobel Harper's thoughts on lemons and truth, lemons/lemore/moredane. I'd add lem(ore) - gold ore, yellow gold. With all these links between gold and cold, I'm wondering if Lem Lemoncloak is meant to contrast Thoros or Beric and a 'warm' raising of the dead. The Lord's Kiss is a kiss of fire that contributes to reviving Beric and is linked to 'a woman's hands are warm', the mermaid's kiss that restores Patchface, the woman's kiss that restores the stony Shrouded Lord as well as the kiss that revives the whispering heads (restores speech and wits). The GoHH wants a kiss from Lem, saying his mouth will taste like lemons while hers tastes like bones. She's as old as the hills and complains: “My hair comes out in handfuls and no one has kissed me for a thousand years. I'm not sure how to interpret this. Could be she wants to curb the aging process with a preserving kiss from Lem? If Lem is Lonmouth, the knight of skulls and kisses, does this mean there's a cold kiss (kiss of death) as well as a warm kiss (kiss of life)? Or perhaps the the kisses are warm and the GoHH wants a new infusion of life? I just looked up House Lonmouth - their words are "The Choice Is Yours" so perhaps this is a clue to skulls as death and kisses as life. Still, would this be a warm or a cold raising? Mel sees Patchface with bloody red lips in the midst of skulls in one of her visions. Hmm. I've associated Lemore with Lemure (monkey with Valyrian features - purple eyes and silver fur) and also with ghosts - if I recall, Lemures are thought to be the spirits of the dead. In Malagasy culture lemurs, and animals in general, have souls (ambiroa) which can get revenge if mocked while alive or if killed in a cruel fashion. Because of this, lemurs, like many other elements of daily life, have been a source of taboos, known locally as fady, which can be based around stories with four basic principles. A village or region may believe that a certain type of lemur may be the ancestor of the clan. They may also believe that a lemur's spirit may get revenge. Alternatively, the animal may appear as a benefactor. Lemurs are also thought to impart their qualities, good or bad, onto human babies.[165]In general, fady extend beyond a sense of the forbidden, but can include events that bring bad luck. (source) Actually, because of the Valyrian connection and the spirit reference, I think Lemore is Ashara Dayne. I have a couple more for you: juggle/smuggle The most obvious connection to me is Davos smuggling Mel into Storm's end to birth a shadow (he essentially smuggles a shadow) and the exchange between Ser Alliser and Jon regarding juggling - specifically Jon teaching Ghost to juggle: Ghost smuggles a ghost (Jon's shadow or perhaps an ancestral shadow back into Jon - something along those lines. Bael/bail Baelor/bailer Baelor bails Aemon the Dragonknight out by releasing him from his cage prison. Bael the Bard bails the Starks out by providing Brandon the Daughterless with an heir. Actually this one is really interesting. I'm working hard at it at the moment.