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About Evolett

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    Magic in aSoIaF

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  1. Apart from Howland Reed, the other person said to have visited the Isle of Faces is Addam Velaryon (Addam of Hull). This was during the Dance of the Dragons. It is said he flew to the Isle on his dragon Seasmoke and took counsel with the Green Men. Addam might be a clue to who will next visit the place. He's interesting because he shares a number of parallels with Jon Snow - see Wiki - bastard born, dragonseed, unlclear parentage, legitimized, became heir to Dirftmark, determined to prove his worth, prove that a bastard born need not be a turncloak. Seasmoke is also a thinly veiled Azor-Ahai hint - Sea Smoke / salt and smoke. If he's a clue, it may point to Daenerys but the hints point towards Jon Snow, who "knows nothing" and might well need some tipps from the Green Men on the isle, if they still exist.
  2. This is my favourite. Stoneheart as a "washerwoman" is spot-on, I'm thinking. The Old Mint as the Wall is also convincing. Well done. The Lazy Eel as Asshai - perhaps, but I suggest the whole section on the inn has the Dreadfort written all over it. We've seen hardly anything of the Dreadfort so this coded passage could be telling us more about the place. Like the Lazy Eel, the great hall of the Dreadfort is dim, smoky and black with soot. I think the following sets the stage, intended for us to make the connection: The inn is underneath a warehouse full of sheepskins, bringing to mind the room at the Dreadfort which people imagine contains the flayed skins of the Bolton's enemies. The sheepskins are interesting also because shortly before the killing begins at the Red Wedding, lamb is served. Wyman Manderly is digging into a leg of lamb and later, in Daenerys' vision in the HotU, she sees the man with a wolf's head at the feast of the dead holding a leg of lamb like a sceptre. What really goes on at the Dreadfort is a mystery. Through Theon's Reek POV we gather there are more prisoners in the dungeons. The above may be revealing what went on there in the past, back in the day. With Ramsay reinstating the practice of flaying, and otherwise engaging in hunting and killing women, it would not surprise me if the Boltons captured and tortured women at their castle in days gone by, turning them into whores against their will. Ramsay did marry the old Lady Hornwood and I can't help connecting the oldest whores / Lady Hornwood with the meat pies full of lard and gristle. Cannibalism? What happened to the women of Winterfell who were carried off to the Dreadfort? Do they have to work as whores? It get's even darker when we consider the next reference to the meat pies in this light: Meat pies full of grey meat. Grey is a colour linked to the Starks. It is said the Bolton's flayed and wore the skins of Starks as cloaks. Did they also eat of their flesh? On another level, the Eel and the indigestible meat pies could be a reference to the "bad blood" of Roose and Ramsay. A consultation of the Wiki tells me that eel blood is poisonous and must be prepared to become safe to eat. Poisoned blood = bad blood, fitting well with Roose and Ramsay. Lampreys then would be equivalent to leeches that suck the "bad blood" away. There's a lot we can do with the word "lamprey". Lord Manderly is "Lord Lamprey" because he enjoys eating this type of fish. There's definitely a connection to the Frey Pies as noted already above. I would say the Lamprey eliminates the bad blooded Bolton eels. There's more wordplay here. Wendel Manderly was killed at the Red Wedding while eating a leg of lamb. Symbolically, like Robb and the rest of the Northerners, he was a "lamb" who was preyed upon by the Boltons and Freys. Wyman is a "lamprey" who turns the tables on the enemy. "Lamprey" may also be a hint at "lamp" and "ray," a ray emitting from a lamp - and might tie into what readers expect Stannis' strategy against the Boltons at the Crofter's village will be - with Manderly taking center stage as a symbolic "lamp ray" to overcome the Bolton force. Apples being sold from a barrow. Another angle here would be apples being sold from a grave. The apple was neither fresh nor tasty, Davos considered it a bad apple but the seller wanted the core back because the seeds were good. So, I wonder what that's telling us. I'm thinking of the aFfC POV with Alleras bringing down apples with her bow here and the wormy apple that split in two. Perhaps there's a connection to that.
  3. Stannis illegitimate? Cressen certainly has fatherly thoughts towards Stannis but I doubt it. Renly is another matter though, if one wants to speculate on such a thing. Since Robert started sowing his oats rather early, Renly could be Robert's bastard son, brought up by the Baratheons as their own true-born son. Renly is the spitting image of the younger version of Robert. In comparison, we also have Gendry who is definitely Robert's son, who looks so much like Robert that Ned recognises him for a son of the king. The likeness between Renly and Gendry is also uncanny, since Brienne is also unsettled by Gendry's resemblance to Renly. So that might be a thing. It would explain why Robert granted Storm's End to Renly instead of to Stannis, who really was next in line to inherit the seat.
  4. It never crossed my mind that the Green Men could be CotF, they are Green Men after all. Some think they were greenseers but this does not necessarily have to be the case. As to their origin, it's possible that these guardians were chosen on merit and regularly exchanged when their stint of duty was up. My guess is they were members of the Order of the Green Hand, founded by the Gardeners in ancient times. Only the virtous and skilled in arms were allowed membership. They would have to be skilled in arms to ward off unwanted visitors to the God's Eye as well as virtuous to stay true to their duty. The Order ended with Aegon's Field of Fire but the Manderlys still claim membership. Perhaps their absence is a reason why Howland Reed managed to reach the isle and stay there for so long.
  5. A very insightful post which I really enjoyed reading, especially because your interpretation of the symbols of iron/steel, fire and ice incorporates a holistic view of the underlying problem. While I agree with much of what you propose, I’m not sure returning the dawn to end a Long Night itself will be sufficient to completely defeat the Others because they operate quite happily within current normal cycles of night and day. They simply return to an underground abode sheltered from the sun when dawn comes (presumably). They can of course significantly further their goals to wipe out life by extending the darkness indefinitely. So, I’ve always regarded ending a long winter /defeating the Others who can bring and intensify the cold, and ending a long night as requiring two separate solutions. I think this is suggested by the contrast between the tales of heroes like Azor Ahai and the tale of the secret song that brought back the day. I will share a few thoughts on bringing back the dawn which you envisage as a harmony of cries of agony and ecstasy emitted by Nissa Nissa and Azor Ahai: Rather than cries of agony and ecstasy, my guess is that a harmonious song, a song of ice and fire, will be required. One that encompasses agony and ecstasy, one that is bitter-sweet or a sweet sad song as of the type Rhaegar was wont to compose and sing. Perhaps George is drawing on the philosophical concept of the music of the spheres or harmony of the spheres here, though I’m not sure of its direct application. That said, we do have Moonsingers in the narrative. Songs and singers are important to the story. It’s no accident that Rhaegar composed and sang his own songs or that Bael was a bard, Mance likes to sing or that there are many singers that end up maimed or dead. The CotF think of themselves as singers too and employ this singing as a part of their magic. There are instances where discordant music and singing accompany dire events, such as at the Red Wedding, underscoring your analysis of the destructive nature of iron/steel and fire. Singing also stands in contrast to Silence, a motif directly linked to Euron whose ship, crewed by mutes is named as such and who obviously aspires to wreak extreme havoc on Westeros. Silence thus appears connected to death (also the Silent Sisters) and destruction. Clearly, Euron isn’t in the business of spreading harmony. Important female characters such as Sansa and Brienne know all the songs, though Brienne herself does not sing, which might tie into the motif of silence. Ghost is Jon’s mute partner, though Jon himself heard the puppy calling him first time round. Ghost could well be Jon’s silent source of song. Symbolically, eliminating or maiming singers may represent an undermining of the harmony required to bring back the dawn, hence why some songs must not be heard aloud or remain secret. The Rhoynish tale also suggests opposing factions must come together to sing this song, which fits with the theme of ice and fire. When Dany’s dragons hatch, they fill the night with the “music of dragons:” This hissing, I suppose, is an example of the “music of fire,” contrasting the howling of the direwolves which Bran perceives as “song” and Ghost’s muteness. The “Song of Steel” you mention is also a thing, no doubt. Dalla’s baby now goes by the name of Aemon Steelsong and there are many instances of steel singing. Bittersteel may represent the opposite of the steel song. There are a few instances of Valyrian Steel swords named for sounds such as Widow’s Wail, Brightroar or Lamentation, worth considering how they might fit into the theme of singing and music. The examples of Rhaegar, Bael the Bard and Mance suggest a warrior-bard will be important to the endgame, one who is strong in combat as well as in song, whatever that song turns out to be, or in whatever form it will manifest (“singing swords,” mute direwolves, musical dragons, singing warrior-bards ..., there are many possibilities). Actually, I think the Other in the prologue scene listened for a song when he examined Ser Waymar’s sword. Either the steelsong was not right or they heard nothing.
  6. Time hasn't permitted me to go over the actual narrative in relation to the OP but judging by the similar descriptors as well as the case made, I do think it's possible Ser Creighton and Symon Silver-Tongue are one and the same person. Seeing as Symon's goal was to secure the position of one of 7 singers in competition for a silver lute at the wedding of a stag (albeit a false stag), owing the innkeep seven silver stags might be a further clue. Regarding his name, Longbough could well be his real name rather than Symon Silver-Tongue, hence the Innkeep's recognition of the man and the name. Symon Silver-Tongue is more likely the name he performed under as an artist. We certainly have examples of bards and singers giving themselves an artist name. The Blue Bard's real name is Wat and Tom of Sevenstreams is also known as Tom o' Sevens or Tom Sevenstrings. Marillion could also be an alias or artist's name. As to his purpose, Tyrion does keep thinking of the singer he committed to "singer's stew," though that side of the story is probably done because Tyrion's secret regarding Shae no longer matters. My guess is he is important to the back story. It's interesting that Symon and Sam are the only two men who sing a lullaby to a baby. Though not quite in the same way, Lollys and Gilly share being brutalized by men. There is a motif of maimed singers in the books which we discussed in @Seams thread, "The maimed Singers," a while ago. Can't locate it at the moment. Personally, I think this find could serve to shed further light on "Bael" characters, also connecting Bael characters to the Symon/Simon/Symeon name group.
  7. Yes, there appears to be an association there and a regime change is a distinct possibility at the Wall after Jon's stabbing. If the above examples are anything to go by, this change will be anything but positive, a foreshadowing of upheaval to come (not that we need any great hints for this but it fits).
  8. Looks like we're supposed to link cats, serpents and dragons. Sansa and the black cat at the top of the serpentine steps is like Cat at the head of the serpent that is the Northern army as it crosses the Twins: Similar to this is also the GoHH's dream in which she sees Sansa as a maid with "purple serpents" in her hair (again here focus is the top, the head region). These "purple serpents" eventually kill Joffery and perhaps this is where the jerkin crafted from Tommen's fawn comes in. I'm reminded of Haggon's lectures on the animals skinchangers take as their familiars. Deer are prey. And more so a young fawn which is practically defenceless. A jerkin is a sleeveless garment. It has no arms. By taking away Tommen's fawn and turning it into a jerkin for himself, Joff symbolically condems himself. He's unable to defend himself, becoming the serpent's prey. Perhaps the same symbolism applied to Arya. During her lessons with Syrio, she's still a defenceless young "fawn" wearing a jerkin (related = I recall fArya/Jeyne wearing doe slippers on her wedding day). She owns Needle but does not know how to use it. Her lessons and interaction with cats with claws like needles help her to hone her instincts and learn the art of defending herself. On a side note - the German translation for fawn is "kitz," which is interesting. Ironically, through Joff's cruelty, Tommen progresses from owning a helpless "kitz" to possessing three kittens with claws that also symbolize dragons. After receiving the kittens and under Loras's tutelage he will later "win" against a sandbag opponent, breaking the dummy's lance as well. Unfortunately, Cersei puts an end to his lessons with Loras. Regarding the boot symbolism, I think boots represent the skinchanged victim rather than the skinchanger. Hodor is like an old boot. Arya not finding boots that fit then means she hasn't yet found the right or "fitting" familiar to skinchange, one that will suit her. Bran has several fitting "old boots" but Arya does not. So as far as the symbolism in respect of magic goes, the kitten named Boots may represent a dragon that can indeed be skinchanged, whears the others cannot be.
  9. There are many possibilities. For all we know he's simply projecting his father's rejection of him onto his sons. I do find it a bit odd that the freefolk tolerate his practices within their territory though. Even the Targs as a royal family faced opposition because of the incest they practiced but the wildlings who can be quite militant just let him be. Ygritte's mention of the heavy curse Craster bears suggests they know more than they're willing to voice out openly. Well, we'll have to wait and see.
  10. Who knows who his bygone ancestors really were? The LN took place eons ago. A large number of people may have been displaced, with families eventually divided by the Wall. Take the two Targs at the Wall who are old enough to have fathered Craster for instance. That's very ancient blood right there and old bloodlines must be the key, even to the genetic compatibility theory . Bloodraven's mother hailed from the south but their ancestors were from up north in all probability - the Warg King. Maester Aemon's background is also peppered with old FM blood. Somewhere there lies the truth
  11. Probably so, but it could also be that he's the only member of that bloodline unfortunate enough to live within range of the Others. From what I understand about blood debts and blood money, it's always stems from a social conflict, usually between families or clans. The matter can be settled immediately, as we see with the blood price Doran paid in the person of his son Quentyn. If it's not settled then the debt passes to future generations. So if this is a thing, then it's more likely that Craster's ancestors committed the crime and never finished paying up, leaving him in this position now. Basically an eye for an eye or a son for a son of the bloodline, however ancient the conflict might be. The family that has to pay the blood debt bears group responsibity and must give up a number of its members. I suppose how many would depend on the offence or how many of the rival family were killed. There is a difference to the blood feud which is charactarized by cycles of violence between families that can span generations (as in the Brackens and Blackwoods).
  12. Yes, that's often blended out in the quest for Craster's parentage. I was hoping this would not turn into a "Craster is a Stark" thread. The question is, could Craster be sacrificing his sons in payment for an ancient blood debt his ancestors incurred? If so, it means he's compelled to make these offerings, rather than simply making a deal with the Others to keep his family safe from attack, for instance. It would also cast doubt on the theory of genetic compatibilty which readers tend to believe the Others require because keeping the bloodline pure to ensure that it's really his blood that is sacrificed to pay the debt is a different prerequisite.
  13. Paying back debts is a running theme with the Lannisters. I’ve been wondering if this could apply to Craster too (perhaps there is wordplay on Craster and Casterly), that he is paying for past transgressions committed by his ancestors with his own blood. We can consider Quentyn Martell for more relevant evidence in this regard: Doran offers his son Quentyn in payment for a grievance committed by his brother Oberyn. It’s a blood debt that Doran felt compelled to pay on Lord Ormond’s insistence. The underlying concept here is that the sins of a member of a family are paid for by another member of that family, in this case a son. In another example, Doran considers the blood debt incurred by the Lannisters paid when Gregor Clegane’s head is served up in Dorne: Here, there is no blood relationship between the Lannisters and Cleganes that we know of, unless being sworn to a liege lord counts as well, but there is still this notion of blood being paid for by blood. Theon also uses this blood for blood argument to justify his presumed killing of Bran and Rickon: Two sons of Eddard Stark to pay for Rodrik and Maron. A similar idea is conveyed in one of Daenery’s chapters where Jorah points out that the Usurper’s son will pay his father’s debts, even blood debts: So we have this belief in blood paying for blood, sons or family members paying off blood debts incurred with their the own life's blood or taking the lives of members of a family believed to have committed a crime to compensate for the crime. Now, on to Craster: when Sam suggests the NW take his son, Craster replies by pointing out that his son is his blood: Craster will not give his blood to the Night's Watch but he gives it to the Others. What’s more, his sons really are his blood, concentrated through and through because he marries his daughters. His blood is not diluted by marriage to women from other families. He is offering the Others his blood, his family's alone. Ygritte says Craster bears a heavy curse but does not elaborate on the curse. Could this be the curse that Craster and his family are subject to? To pay for wrongs / murders committed by their ancestors with their own blood, their sons? We tend to see Craster as the bad guy, in isolation from his wives who we perceive as suffering under his yolk, but they are part of this sacrificial machinery too. The older women knowing a blood debt is being paid would explain why they go along with it. What do you think? Is he paying off an ancient blood debt? To whom is the blood debt owed?
  14. Could well be. There's a lot we can interpret into "moleskin." "Sonlike" is an almost anagram which might also be relevant. A mole is also a term for a sleeper or under cover agent. Could be many things, rolled into one.
  15. Have you tried Evernote to organise your notes? I find that quite useful. There are literary and symbolic connections between the Others and the FotS, but I think the Faith and Andals represent a complicated missing link between the ancient ancestors of the Andals (proto-Andals) who were distinct from the First Men, and the Others. Ancient Proto-Andal families in Westeros would include the Hightowers, Daynes, Royces and Boltons, in my view. Perhaps "moleskin" is also related to this idea of "kin." Jon Snow and Waymar Royce are the only ones who wear moleskin gloves (the sheath of Jon's original sword was also made of moleskin). Since moles are burrowing creatures that live a subterranean lifestyle, "mole's kin" could be hinting at ancestry going back to the mazemakers and builders of underground tunnels and labyrinths for instance.
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