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    Magic in aSoIaF

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Landed Knight

Landed Knight (6/8)

  1. The 13th LC was not deposed for sacrificing to the Others. That wasn't the issue. It was only after his fall they found out: No mention is made of the nature of those sacrifices. The reader assumes he sacrificed his babes.
  2. I sincerely hope Theon will be spared being skinchanged by Bran. This and other related possibilites were discussed here a couple of months ago:
  3. I don't think it matters how many castles the Ironborn controlled. Balon formerly simply declaring himself king of the Iron Islands was dangerous enough to warrent intervention - the Greyjoy Rebellion: A monarch can't afford to ignore such a move and Balon's recent "conquest," beginning with the fall of Winterfell through Theon was never addressed in King's Landing. Euron has inherited the title of King of the Iron Isles and the North and is the de facto leader of the North. They owe him allegiance and I'm certain he'll make that known sooner or later. Tywin put the issue on the back burner, all other lords have been too busy with war to earnestly consider the implications. I think the author set this up quite early on. This exchange takes place when Theon delivers Robb's message to Balon: No one cared about Balon but it's Euron they will have to deal with now and I bet he's not going to be a push-over. Would the FM accept plunder for killing a king? Not those stoney isles either, unless they have value unknown to us, a forgotten relic of ancient times. And a fossilized dragon egg? Illyrio procured three for Dany. I doubt they would be satisfied with one. But that bit about Euron tossing the dragon egg he claimed to possess into the sea that is the source of speculation as to whether he offered it in payment is probably a clue. I suspect Euron has hired the FM for further missions and that for their payment in total, they want Dany herself. Why accept a dragon egg when you can have the real thing with the power to hatch as many eggs as you can provide? The issue of payments and "promises" is an intriguing one and I believe it's central to the story and to what the White Walkers want. I think Westeros has defaulted on the pact made with the Others the last time round. Payments and promises were not being upheld and the last deadline has passed (the bleeding star). The storyline involving the FM and the Ironbank of Braavos are the most likely keys to unravelling the mystery.
  4. In view of the bitter historic rivalry between Bolton and Stark, I imagine that unlike the other vanquished northern houses, the Boltons never put aside aspirations to leadership of the North. A cunning man like Roose would make use of a half-decent opportunity. Embarking on a war under a boy lord-in-waiting whose father was incarcerated by a ruling party well known for its ruthlessness must have been a jackpot situation for Roose. I imagine he began thinking about how to use the unforeseen opportunity from there. I second this. It also gave Roose an opportunity to see how Ramsay would handle things. Not taking him down south was a calculated move as well because that way he would still have some control over affairs in the North. Ramsay taking over Winterfell couldn't have been planned beforehand. Roose was pretty nonchalant regarding Ramsay's deeds and behaviour because this probably suited him fine. Like Gregor Clegane was for Tywin, Ramsay was the perfect tool for taking care of the dirty stuff while Roose busied himself with the finer details of his coup without anyone noticing. Any atrocities committed by Ramsay are attributed to his bad blood and bastard nature. From the sound of him, I don't think Domeric would have been as suitable a partner in crime as Ramsay has been. Having his son legitimized meant being able to take over Winterfell and truely make it House Bolton of Winterfell. Being able to produce fArya to pacify the Northeners made it easier of course. That said, Ramsay's extreme ambition and poor long-term judgement might cause the whole endevour to backfire sooner or later.
  5. In view of the fact that Dany is a threat to the ruling powers' hold on the Iron Throne, a portion of Westeros would definitely be an appropriate price to pay. Sacrifice some regions to remain in control of the rest. Land as payment for services rendered is probably rare but not unheard of. The Tattered Prince wants Pentos as a reward for assisting Quentyn. When that fails, Ser Barristan promises Pentos if the Prince helps him release the Meereenese hostages. A bold move. How does Barristan think to conquer Pentos? What if Dany has no interest in honouring this debt upon her return? So what happens if a client cannot deliver on his side of a bargain such as this one? What Euron paid the FM is debatable but Balon was King of the Iron Isles and the North at the time of his death. Balon may have been viewed as more of a nuisance than anything else in King's Landing but he was King of a good third of Westeros so I imagine the price for his elimination was astronomical. Euron now holds that title. Would he care less about giving the Iron Islands and the North away? I find this thought intriguing. The man is open-handed with his riches which he gives away without batting an eyelid, all with ulterior motives in mind of course. A quote from Euron suggests the North holds no value for him. This is what he has to say at the kingsmoot: Euron doesn't care about the North. King's Landing might think otherwise but Euron is King of that region by right of conquest. And would not hesitate to offer it in payment for Balon's death, methinks. Would the FM accept the North? It's a good deal more than they have now. Why not? They've proven themselves a very resourceful people.
  6. Arya's poison kisses Arya returns with a bunch of purple and green flowers for Ned after exploring their surroundings while travelling through the Neck on the way to King's Landing. It turns out the purple flowers cause an itching skin rash and are called "poison kisses." Following Mycah's advice, she rubs her arms with mud to stop the itching. The scene could simply be forshadowing Arya's arc, that's easy enough to see. She will assist and learn how to prepare poisons from the waif and will employ poison on an assignment. I never really paid much attention to the passage but now the mud which acts as an antidote to the poison kisses appears relevent especially since they are traversing the territory of the so called mud men. An antidote may delay, relieve, prevent or counteract the effects of poison. The crannogmen are proficient in the manufacture and use of poison, the Neck itself an unwholesome deadly environment, but that the mud men are linked to a preventive force capable of counteracting or even curing an allegorical poison is a new thought. Purple is linked to the "strangler" poison and to Purple Harbour, the location of Arya's first assassination mission where she uses poison to dispatch her victim. Purple is used on various sigils with the Daynes standing out. We know Ned won the duel with Arthur Dayne with Howland Reed's help or intervention. Was Howland the "mud antidote" that prevented Dayne from symbolically poisoning Ned? What of Trisifer Mudd, the Hammer of Justice? Was the influx of the Andals a poisoning of Westeros that he tried to prevent? The Neck certainly contributed to keeping the North free of the Andals and their religion. Then of course there is the association between mud and justice. Melisandre attributes her resistance to Cressen's strangler-poisoned wine to the power of her god. That she saw what was coming in her flames and prepared for it by ingesting an antidote beforehand is more likely.
  7. Indeed, you're right, got that wrong. Have to scrap the guest right idea then. The detail about Rhaenys granting hospitality but basically ignoring her guests is odd though.
  8. Here. Thanks. Great song and good question regarding the curse. It's hard to say. The castle has rich and extensive lands attached to it but is huge and ruinous to maintain. It's definitely a white elephant. A blessing because it's an honour to be awarded it but a curse in respect of its maintenance and reputation. On a practical note, the author may be using Harrenhal as a dumping ground for characters no longer useful to the narrative. In terms of the current era of story itself, it appears to be a place associated with the demise of characters who have committed atrocious deeds, well most of them - Vargo Hoat, Amory Lorch, Polliver, even Lord Tywin. That the pious Ser Bonifer Hasty whom Jamie thinks of as "Baelor's Butthole" is now castellan might be a hint that the castle is about to be sanitized and become "blessed." I like this idea: Perhaps it's simply to close to the God's Eye for comfort. Additionally or alternatively, the curse may be the result of two incompatible types of magic coming together - dragonfire and the magic of the weirwoods. Weirwoods that had stood three thousand years were cut down to provide rafters and beams. How many weirwoods were cut down for a castle that size? What supernatural changes take place when these are burned with dragonfire? The fate of Chroyane and the Sorrows may be an example of the malevolent effects of differing magics mixing. Garin's Curse. Greyscale, spirits of fallen conquerors beneath the waters, their cold breath rising as fog to infest the ruined city. Not a pleasant place as we see from Tyrion's chapters in Essos. Asshai appears to be similarly cursed. Another idea would be the violation of guest right by Harren himself. After the castle was completed he invited the builders to a feast and had every one of them killed. Guest right, one of the taboos that when broken the Gods cannot forgive. There may be a small hint to this as well: Rhaena Targaryen (one of the Black Brides and sister to Jaeharys I) lived at Harrenhal as a guest of House Towers and remained there until her death. It is said she agreed to grant hospitality to all the travelers who turned up at Harrenhal but she never sought their company. Could be a hint at making amends for guest right once having been broken.
  9. Sure, since Pate the pig boy was deceived by the Alchemist. The fictional Pate the pig boy was a good-hearted, empty-headed fool who nevertheless always ended up the hero. Sam, also dubbed "Lady Piggy" shares the pig association with Pate. He's also much smarter than Pate and I suspect "replaces" Pate. Pate the empty-headed pig boy replaced by Sam the hero so to speak. And I think Sam won't be fooled by Pate the Alchemist that easily.
  10. The pasty-faced youth, the Alchemist wearing Pate the pig boy's face: “There’s an empty sleeping cell under mine in the west tower, with steps that lead right up to Walgrave’s chambers,” said the pasty-faced youth. Pasty. I never noticed that before. A pasty is baked pastry filled with meat or vegetables. A "Hot Pie" reference I bet. So the Alchemist is associated with hot pies. And the Alchemists' Guild are pyromancers who make wildfire. And presumably "pyres." Lol. Damn it. Of course. Bakers bake their pies in hot ovens powered by fire. The faceless men did turn Old Valyria into a "Hot Pie."
  11. Possibly. Maybe eagles do have the ability to transcend magical barriers. Drogon looks like an eagle to Dany (her last chapter in Dance). So perhaps unlike Queen Alysanne's dragon, Drogon won't balk at flying across the Wall. Eagles have keen eyesight. Their being part of the Sphinx has me thinking about the glass candles also introduced in the prologue chapter to aFFc. This is where learn more about their origin and function. There are three black ones and one green one, perhaps another reference to the different Sphinxes? Three black corresponding to the three-headed dragon, green the Alleras Sphinx (Alleras does wear green / the Citadel ones)? Upon re-reading Sam's last chapter in aFFC, I realized Marwyn left his black glass candle behind when he left for the docks: Following this, we deduce that the pasty-faced youth also in Marwyn's chambers is none other than the Alchemist who has taken the real Pate's face. The alchemist holds a master key for the Citadel and is looking for something important - could it be he's after one of the candles? He's right there in the chamber with it. If this Alchemist faceless man is the same one that killed Balon Greyjoy, is his new mission to obtain a glass candle for Euron? Euron has collected a number of Valyrian artefacts. Him wanting a glass candle makes sense. But which though? Is there a difference between the black and the green? Can one for instance see further with the green than with the black? Penetrate regions underground or beyond the range of the black? It's also interesting that Sam, dubbed "Lady Piggy" by Alliser Thorne of the onyx eyes arrives at the Citadel just when Pate the Pig Boy meets his end and is replaced by a fake. The original Pate wasn't making progress at the Citadel. He hadn't acquired any links at all. Like Pate, Sam looked after ravens. Sam is Pate the pig boy's replacement I'll bet, a smart young man who may quickly forge his links. Perhaps he will see through the fake Pate? Can't wait to read what GRRM has in store for Sam.
  12. Could you post a link to the video that inspired your thoughts?
  13. My mind is still a bunch of unordered thoughts on this but I do think you are right. So here goes: I suspect twins (including symbolic twins) are important to solving the puzzle (two hills, two breasts, two turnips). Robb Stark entered the underworld at the crossing of the Twins. Consider Big Walder and Little Walder. They aren't twin brothers but the confusion GRRM has created regarding their naming and size (the big one is little and the little one is big) makes them symbolic twins. They are Big/Little and Little/Big. Whether they clash swords or not is unknown to us but they do cross paths at that precise location, the entrance to the underworld of the crypts, with Big Walder winning the competition for the entrance. Noteworthy: Rickon takes the Walder boys into the crypts after losing the lord of the crossing game. We can also think of the crossing swords in terms of an X. In our world, the "X" of course marks a location. Side note: Inn at the Crossroads, crossroads form an X and are believed to be a portal to the otherworld. Walder Frey's bridge and the river form a X. Seems like a good clue for locating such crossings. Next clue I've indentified: Erryk and Arryk Cargyle, twin brothers who actually cross swords but both die. The duel took place on Dragonstone. Does their dying mean Dragonstone is not a location for a crossing? I looked up the name Cargyle and guess what? The crest of an historic Cargyle family (Celtic. Pictish-Scottish, some of whom relocated to Ireland) contains a prominent X symbol. I'm yet to familiarize myself with their history but its interesting that there is a Symon in their lineage. The current Erryk and Arryk twins (Hobber and Slobber) are Lady Olenna's guards and if I recall correctly, they accompanied her to Highgarden. Perhaps Highgarden will be the location of a significant battle/fight involving the two. Maybe this identifies Highgarden as a new important location? Pennytree between the two hills is also a symbolic X crossing, if we imagine the tree cut down and lying between the hills. Jamie, a twin, arrives there and solves the issues between Bracken and Blackwood, meets Hildy who offers him her turnips and feels strangely attracted to her. Brienne arrives. Is Brienne Jamie's symbolic twin? Jamie's two horses are named Honor and Glory. I think these represent Brienne and Cersei respectively and Jamie appears to ride Honor rather than Glory. My guess is Stoneheart will command them to fight. (Their situation reminds me of the circumstances of the duel between Jon Snow and the Halfhand. ). Anyway, the location: Inn at the Crossroads. Like Erryk and Arryk, Brienne and Jamie also fall into the kingsguard category. Could it be that kingsguard can cross barriers because they are also meant to defend kings from or returning from the underworld? Brienne's king Renly returns from the underworld. Jamie sent Aerys to the underworld.. Hmm. Just a thought. Now consider this: Arthur Dayne and Ned Stark cross swords at the Tower of Joy, not just any swords. It's Dawn and Ice that cross each other. Ned wins and takes custody of the possible "promised prince" who since he was "promised by prophecy," may be a returnee from the underworld. If the crossing of these particular swords mark the tower of joy as an entrance or exit to the underworld, then we have three kingsguard knights defending this crossing. With Rhaegar dead and the Targs ousted, what might Arthur have done with Jon if he had won? Taken him to be brought up at Starfall and declare him a Dayne bastard? Killed him? Why was Ned more "worthy" of bring up Jon than Arthur? Are Arthur and Ned symbolic twins? The twin connection does suggest Dawn and Ice are twin swords. That we have only one tower at this location contrasts the two towers of the Twins. Not sure why this is significant but I think it is. The Hightower is one tower and a Hightower kingsguard was present. In the Knight of the Laughing Tree story the dishonorable knights are a pitchfork knight, a porcupine knight and the knight of the two towers (the twins). Jon and Edric (Ned) Dayne are "milk-brothers," twins in spirit so to speak or "milk twins" if you like. If my theory regarding the transfer of ancestral souls through breast milk is correct, then Jon and Edric share the same ancestral soul, probably the same soul Ned has on account of the naming. I'll reserve my speculation on Jon's "spritual father" for another day. Perhaps Turnip being a boy and a girl is deliberate, alluding to the "twin" turnips. Criston Cole the Kingmaker and symbolic cabbage: Turnips, beets and onions are cruciferous veggies but they are root vegetables that grow underground, thus their association with the underworld most probably. But the cabbage is different. It grows above ground. Jon is symbolically sheltered by a cabbage leaf. Since Ned hides Jon in plain sight (above ground), is Ned the symbolic cabbage and Kingmaker?
  14. Turnips, crossing to the underworld, Hildy, Pennytree Turnips and crossings Some evidence for associations between neeps/turnips and crossing to the Underworld: Bran sends boiled beets to Little Walder during the Harvest Feast while Big Walder receives the buttered turnips. Rickon takes the Walder boys into the Winterfell crypts - here Rickon facilitates entry into the underworld and this annoys Bran. The Walders also introduce the Lord of the Crossing game to the kids at Winterfell. In terms of the supernatural, the Lord of the Crossing is the guardian who manages the gates or crossing over into the underworld. Little Walder who got the beets is lord of the crossing game more often than not. The boys argue over who will become the next Lord of the Crossing/Lord of House Frey and despite being far down the line of inheritance, Big Walder says he will secure the position. A cook's boy named Turnip participates in the game as well, losing to Little Walder. According to the appendix, Turnip is a pot girl and scullion (seems to be some mistake in the text). In any case "scullion" may be a play on "scallion," i.e. spring onions, reminding us of Davos who facilitates Mel's birthing of an underworld shadow creature. At this point, my suspision is that root vegetables do not represent the crossing itself but rather the vehicle by which a spirit may cross to AND possibly from the underworld. Davos's onions brought life and if they are spring onions that fits even more so. And as regards cruciferous vegetable types, my guess is that these can overcome the iron barrier that bars spirits from leaving the grave. However, I'm certain your intepretation of crossing swords and kingsguards crossing barriers is correct. The rivalry between the Walder boys for the position of psychopomp appears settled when Little Walder is found dead at the enterance to the underworld, the crypts. So the "Turnip lord" succeeds and the Beet bites the dust. Big Walder likely killed his cousin. It's interesting that Ramsay's boy (LW) loses to Lord Manderly's boy (BW), especially since the Manderly merman association with "under the sea," another kind of underworld, is implied. Their hall is a veritable sea underworld. Bran giving away turnips and Rickon losing to Little Walder suggest the Starks were once lords of the underworld crossing but have lost this post. Robb loses the game to Walder Frey. He never said "mayhaps" (Frey points this out to Robb). Platters of mashed turnips were served at the red wedding and Big Walder now has the winning turnips. Hildy, Turnips and the Teats Hildy's turnips are her breasts and she's sleeping with Lord Bracken. Hildy is definitely a nod at the two hills - in this case, Barba's Teats? But wait - Big Walder's granny was a Blackwood and Lord Bracken says Hildy is a prize of war, so Hildy representing Missy's Teats is more likely. So the Blackwoods and Starks (or Tullys?) once formed a "psychopomp team" but now we have a Frey and ? teaming up. Could Jamie be the second new team member (Hildy offers herself to him and he feels attracted)? How do turnips/breasts relate to being vehicles for spirits returning from the underworld - being a "neep entry." I think I have the answer. I've had it for a while now without enough supporting evidence but this does further my theory. The answer is milk. Wet-nurses. Some Spirits are reincarnated through the milk of wet-nurses where they are passed on to the baby along with the breast milk. Neep entry. And to add some more substance to that is this, when Jamie and his troops arrive at Pennytree: And here we have Big Walder associated with a nanny goat and her kids: So this begs the question as to the nature of the ancestral spirits reborn through a wet-nurse's milk (or indeed mother's milk). Since Bloodraven, son of Missy is a greenseer, an educated guess would be the spirits of ancient wargs/skinchangers /greenseers (in this case) traverse from the otherside through this "neep entry." A woman takes a man's soul along with his seed and passes this soul to a child through her breast milk. This is what I think happens in Craster's case. Part of his soul is passed on to his baby boys through mother's milk. Dalla died in childbirth so baby Aemon never got her milk. Gilly feeds him Craster's soul through her milk. Aemon and Monster are true "milk brothers." I'm still trying to pin down what Wylla fed Jon Snow. The clues here are fishwives and Ned Dayne who is his milk brother. Pennytree Standing between the two hilly "teats," I think the oaken Pennytree is a phallic symbol with a twist. The two hills represent women from both factions taken and violated, reducing their worth considerably, especially if they were virgins. Their value then drops to a symbolic Penny. A penny is nailed onto the "phallus" for every woman raped or taken against her will. The great number of pennies reflect the cost of the centuries-long dispute between the Brackens and Blackwoods (think also pennies / penis /penises). Aegon the Unworthy helps himself to the daughters of the 2 noble houses. Hildy is Bracken's "prize of war," probably from the Blackwood side of the fence. The virgin daughters of smallfolk also have their worth. Rosey's mum demands a dragon for her virginity and Lazy Leo suggests her worth will drop to an affordable level if he "breaks her in" first. In manys cases, a girl so violated is reduced to the status of a whore. This is where Tyrion and Tysha's story comes in. Poor Tysha suffered sexual abuse on a grand scale by a plan orchestrated by Tywin. Tyrion went last. He paid her a gold dragon because HE was worth more but at that point Tysha herself was worth nothing more than a "penny." The dwarf's Penny is a tax imposed on prostitution. Penny the dwarf symbolizes the "worthless penny" Tyrion helped create. His very own "dwarf's penny". Where do whores and turnips go? Perhaps they are crucified at Pennytree. On a supernatural level, Pennytree represents a portal or exit for the souls of men, a place where women collect seed as well as souls for rebirth through the "neeps." There are not many women capable of this feat, I suspect, but Blackwood and Bracken women apparently are. This makes them desirable to kings, so much so that the disputed area is now a royal fief. The rivalry between the Blackwoods and Brackens can also be seen as competition for the king's seed and secret powers passed on to his sons and daughters.
  15. This really sheds light on the colour indigo. I think we can also directly connect Orell himself to indigo. Consider this: GRRM likely pays homage to author George Orwell in his choice of Orell's name. Now, Orwell was born in India and indigo happens to be named after India because the dye originated from there. Deciphering indigo is then much easier if Orell is also an indigo character: We're not sure if Mel purges, neutralizes or perhaps integrates the indigo poison into her system but she does not succeed in purging indigo Orell who is integrated into Varamyr. So on account of his skinchanging gift, Orell gets to live on in his eagle, passes by this route to another skinchanger and lives on in a human and is presumably integrated into the wolf One-Eye too. An elusive spirit indeed! Perhaps. What this suggests so far is that indigo characters secretly live on and if this process is repeated numerous times over centuries, they are indeed as "undying" as the Undying so strongly associated with indigo. Through the eagle which Varamyr uses to "fly" and to "see," and the Undying who fortell the future and give Dany visions, as well as Jason Mallister who is blind and does not noticie Catelyn, indigo is also linked to seeing both literally and supernaturally. That Catelyn sees Mallister while he is blind to her suggests Catelyn represents a more accomplished seer which feeds into my conviction that Catelyn is the originator of Bran's greenseeing gift. It also implies that a green-seer is more powerful than an "indigo-seer." Back to Jon Snow. I'm not sure the eagle attack was a way of absorbing indigo but it does mark both Jon and Ghost. Perhaps there is rivalry between green and indigo seers which would explain why Renly (strongly associated with green) could not fill the indigo position in his Kingsguard. But I can also see the need to fill the position to complete the rainbow, so perhaps Mallister supporting Jon through Sam's intervention tells us this is only possible through guile or deception. Leo Tyrell has Lion/Rose symbolism. He wasted his last stag on food and a rather sumptious meal at that. He was broke after that. I think this can be seen in terms of the fertility theme. Lions and Roses use Stags (fertility symbols) to ensure prosperity (think also of the 77 dishes at Joff's wedding). Tyrells and Lannisters marry Stags. Margery marries a false stag. Wasting the last stag hints at the end of this kind of bountiful prosperity. In contrast, the other lads shared a haunch of boiled mutton. The cornucopia, horn of plenty, dries up. The origin story of Casterly Rock is signifcant here. Though it's a legend dating back to the FM, it contains elements similar to "the boy who lives" phenomenon. Newborn cubs are spared. Could the newborn cubs represent the "Little Lion" / Osgrey? I've wondered why the Little Lion would battle against the great Lannister lion rather than form an alliance with it's "relative." The Casterlys probably used the lion as their sigil, with the Lannisters taking it over as you suggest. It also makes sense that the surviving Little Lions would "seek revenge." The battle between the big lion and the little lion could also be symbolic of a turning point in the attitude of the big lion towards its enemies - following a policy of eliminating all members of a family where possible.
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