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Curled Finger

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  1. House Bolton, such as it is, has been the vehicle moving the North for 5 books. Would Jon's reaction have been motivated by a signature such as Stannis Baratheon King of the 7 Kingdoms or Lord Wyman Manderley or Mance Rayder King Beyond the Wall? I think not. This letter had to be written to Jon Snow by Ramsay Bolton to get Jon's blood up for a fight--he had to be challenged to the point of putting aside his vows. No one else could have this desired effect on Jon. No one else held Jon's little sister. Regardless who actually wrote the Pink Letter, (Ramsay), the signature was the icing on the cake that was the information in the letter.
  2. Ah great post and such interesting ideas. Your desert glass is a nice find and works well with the overall concept you put forth. While I realize that obsidian, glass and meteors are unlikely additions to any fine wootz I will offer up that blood and dragon fire as as unlikely. There is magic here and after years of pounding my logical mind against the wall of this unlikeliness I came to accept that magic is not necessarily a thing I understand, so why not glass if spells are among the ingredients? Dawn is such a storied sword, but it seems to be famous for its being more than effectiveness as a weapon. Dawn set the standard for fine sword weight and balance which is so apparent in the descriptions of Valyrian Steel. The dark swords are a sort of imitation. That Dawn might be a relic or technology (magic) lost to history reaching back to the Gemstone Emperors isn't a stretch of credulity. Could be GEoTD tech--not unlike Damascus Steel in our own world! The Amethyst Empress and Bloodstone Emperor are the children of the Opal Emperor. If the gemstones mean anything at all I envision Dawn's appearance to resemble an opal...a captured frozen sort of starburst. What could that possibly mean? I have a friend who has made the jump as you submit about the Andals and their symbolism and draws similar interesting conclusions. I'm not great with symbolism, so I leave that detective work to minds who get it. I can offer that yours is not the only instance of Andal symbolism pointing to many older things that predate their invasion of Westeros. The idea that Dawn is Lightbringer is definitely implied in the text if not actual names of the swords. But what exactly Lightbringer is is a whole other discussion. Is it a sword? If not, is Dawn really a sword? This train of thought follows the thinking that Lightbringer is a key more than a weapon regardless of its appearance and general use. Or is the name Dawn the same as the regions heroes of the Long Night--The Last Hero/Ice in the North, Azor Ahai/Lightbringer in the Essos and possibly Yin Tar/Dawn in the far East (just an example). Maybe they are all the same person/thing and maybe all these heroes and weapons/keys were in play at the same time. I dunno. I do kinda like the idea that House Stark is a bastard line of House Dayne and that Dawn became Ice over time. Simple reductionist thinking, but an interesting idea that could tie the disappearances of swords together as well as Ned's insistence on returning Dawn to House Dayne. The carved stars in the foreheads of the Andals reminds me so much of Charles Manson's followers during their trials in the early 70s. I got nothing good for this because that's always where I end up. But that forehead carving is soooo interesting. We know the Thenns burn and "tattoo" their faces with ash and the Burned Men of the Vale mountains mutilate themselves to prove their machismo--I cannot help but wonder if these examples point to blood sacrifice of sorts across cultures and time?
  3. It's been way too long since I had a good sword conversation! I will be the first to give you that Longclaw is something other than it appears to be. I am inclined to believe it may be ancestral Ice which means it is not VS. But we are told repeatedly that it is, so wonky history. Jeor Mormont is hinky about the name of his ancestral family sword and his mention in the past tense is very strange--it's not a long jump to conclude that Longclaw is not the real name of this sword as Cat of the Canals is not the real name of Arya. Longclaw and Darksister have very specific descriptions. Longclaw is much bigger and broader and longer than Darksister. A normal woman would have a rough time wielding Longclaw. Brienne might be able to handle Longclaw with no problem, but the sword itself is likely bigger than Arya.
  4. Light sabers of the Targaryans? Valyrian Steel? The only swords I know of thus far to illuminate are Thoros' and Beric's flaming swords, Jamie & Brienne's blue dream swords, Jon's dream sword, Stannis' Lightbringer, legendary Lightbringer, Dawn and the Others' weapons. VS is dark--it does not shine. VS, Blackfyre specifically, darkened even more in Aegon's funeral pyre. So yes, VS no doubt drinks in light or heat. Perhaps I misunderstand. I think you're on to something with opposing elements affecting each other when it comes to sword talk. There are light and then there are dark swords and I believe they do represent some equal and opposing force to each other. All these swords are exquisite and unique. Elder Brother on the Quiet Isle mentions rusted helms and shining swords and aye, rubies... Though I am inclined to agree that magical swords are designed to vanquish mans' swords I think there has to be something to weapons made entirely of the natural world having some capacity to overcome in all this. After all, Old Nan, a reliable source told us: "In that darkness, the Others came for the first time," she said as her needles went click click click. "They were cold things, dead things, that hated iron and fire and the touch of the sun, and every creature with hot blood in its veins. Perhaps a common castle forged sword alight with wildfyre can defeat the Others?
  5. I'm with you on the celestial material being what Dawn is made from, Starfall, too. It has been long held that obsidian may be a constituent of Valyrian Steel. Going back to dragon glass and dragon steel I think there is a decent chance this is true. Surely in Valyria there was an abundance of it. The COTF used this valuable resource and I see no reason the Valyrians wouldn't do the same. The legends of Damascus Steel in our own world speak of the very specific regional wootz materials produced as well as the very specific regional forging processes. (Among the legends are forging in urine or stabbing red haired slaves in the heart--not kidding!) In that obsidian is legendary in its ability to what? Repel? Harm? Others the implication is clear. We know of the ultimate outcome of the Long Night and Battle for Dawn the Others are only pushed back presumably to the Lands of Always Winter. Dragon glass, indeed Dragon Steel was not enough to defeat the Others. If Team Ice has all this strange power it makes absolute sense to me that Team Fire would have some equal sort of power. I think the importance of a story of a family following a falling star is often overlooked. There are otherworldly alien things in Westeros. Dawn and Starfall and possibly even the Daynes possess some magic we don't yet know or understand...curiously like our Others.
  6. The idea that a sword's color or brightness could be a reflection of the bearer is a lovely concept. I have long held that these swords will all be called into play with chosen, proven or even forged heroes to wield them. This is an integral part of the magic in our tale and makes a lot of thematic sense to me. The Lightning Lord seems to truly be the only character we've actually seen put a sword to flame by touching his blood--albeit filled with the fire of life--still, the only one to light a sword er organically. We know Stannis' Lightbringer is enchanted, but that doesn't count it entirely out of the running as magic swords go. This could be a good place to go into our various magical swords' origins and what it could mean, but better to stay on topic. The magic in any of these swords is a wonder. 15 named Valyrian Steel swords of unequal balance and weight. They act of their own will. Enchanted or just part of the overall magic process? Legendary ancestral Ice of House Stark, Kings of Winter--mysteriously disappeared in the mists of time to be "replaced" by Valyrian Steel? What does that say about Ice? We have a doozie of an origin legend in Dawn and Starfall. I think white=purity and have to remind myself that the good guys wear black here so what do these beautiful descriptions of Dawn speak of if it is all bad? I can't accept a simple Other-- with all it's depiction Dawn may be telling the origin story or part of one, of the Others. In which case I throw in completely with the moonstone crowd--Dawn is not of this world, only it's Heavens and their sundering. This sword really is Other. The Other's swords speak as much to their ability and skill as the arakh does the Dothraki. They look like children's aluminum foil swords. Where Dawn appears to display light The Others' sword seems to trap it. Are the Others we have seen Swords of the Morning or Evening even? It's a fun thing to weigh. Lightbringer could be a sword or only part of an idea containing many parts and people. May never be 100% clear on that. Stannis' sword has a reputation--even stupid Ramsay Bolton wants a look at it. I think there is lots of room in this story and its magical items inventory to allow some speculation on where we will be duped and all these swords really are for in the magical landscape.
  7. HI Lynn, Like you I envisioned depression era milk glass and even bought a piece to study. The more I see comparisons between Dawn and the Other's swords the less I see the match, but not unlike the comparisons to moonstones, I am thinking something like opal. We really do need a better description of Dawn.
  8. Aerys had Varys and other people with their own agendas whispering in his ear. With Tywin's sound rule gone there became a power vacuum where any unscrupulous lord could get Aerys' attention. It is supposed that Varys was the one who put suspicion regarding Rhaegar on Aerys' radar. That said, Aerys did not appear to need much encouragement to latch on to outlandish ideas. Any surviving child would have eventually become suspect in his extreme paranoia. I always wondered what exactly he would have done with Rhaegar had his suspicions been confirmed? After all, he still seemed to rely on his son during Robert's Rebellion.
  9. Call me naive, but I think another honorable man willing to do the very hard right thing in ASOIAF lends itself to the real good, which I tend to think the point is. Davos being a low born criminal in the first place is a brilliant stroke of story telling here, particularly in the shadow of Ned's bright honorable light. It would be a very different story without the likes of Davos or Brienne or Sam. In a way, each of the good and bad characters we run across in pages is incarnated or revealed in a new or newly visited character. It is not often a sudden transfer of character traits such as in the case of Septon Meriblad leading to Elder Brother or even in the immediate after math of the death of say Ned that Davos is introduced, but the more subtle transitions like Maester Aemon from Maester Luwin or Selmy from Jorah. The good guys, rare though they be, are critical for the telling of this tale.
  10. Only mild sarcasm in my original post. The point was drawing attention to the entire Lannister loss experience among the siblings. Cersei is as much a part of the experience as her brothers. It's an overall Lannister blight. It's OK if we understand she suffers, too.
  11. Or some divine stripping of their worldly vanities as something of an opportunity to do better, find humility, make a difference. Character is forged in trial. We can't make light of Cersei's loss. The hair cut maybe temporary, but she will never forget the walk. Nor will anyone else. Much as Jamie curses his sister, hand or no he would never have allowed her to make that walk of shame.
  12. An interesting conversation. The OP is not without merit on many levels. There has been little mention of the power of the magics underlying this entire story as well as the very overlying tale of humans in Westeros being incapable of peace. These people don't want to get along with each other. We have no reason to infer they would unilaterally throw open their arms and get along with any people called "The Others". Somewhere on page 2 someone pointed out that A Song of Ice and Fire is an epic fantasy. While I agree this story says much about war and prejudice, I don't think that's the overall point of this epic fantasy. Keep close our dragons and skinchangers and dragons and kraken and giants and magic swords and ancient pacts. Lomas Longstrider, in his Wonders Made by Man, recounts meeting descendants of the Rhoynar in the ruins of the festival city of Chroyane who have tales of a darkness that made the Rhoyne dwindle and disappear, her waters frozen as far south as the joining of the Selhoru. According to these tales, the return of the sun came only when a hero convinced Mother Rhoyne's many children—lesser gods such as the Crab King and the Old Man of the River—to put aside their bickering and join together to sing a secret song that brought back the day. TWOAIF Ancient History: The Long Night At least some of the gods in one place could get their harmonious acts together. We often forget the only example of teamwork ending TLN, though I think a good case can be made for the tale of TLH being one of team work. Why can't all the tales be true as remnants of a larger tale? Heroes, magic swords, magic songs--all of it. The Long Night was a global event. Essos had its own version of the COTF. As the Elder Race they know their time is short--Leaf tells Bran: "Gone down into the earth," she answered. "Into the stones, into the trees. Before the First Men came all this land that you call Westeros was home to us, yet even in those days we were few. The gods gave us long lives but not great numbers, lest we overrun the world as deer will overrun a wood where there are no wolves to hunt them. That was in the dawn of days, when our sun was rising. Now it sinks, and this is our long dwindling. The giants are almost gone as well, they who were our bane and our brothers. The great lions of the western hills have been slain, the unicorns are all but gone, the mammoths down to a few hundred. The direwolves will outlast us all, but their time will come as well. In the world that men have made, there is no room for them, or us." ADWD Bran III That last bit could be the key. The Elder Races understand and take this final stab at setting something right before leaving the corporeal world. Not unlike Elven rings requiring a toss into volcanoes before they can move on. There is a stewardship and legacy in what they leave behind. Pacts were made and pacts were broken. The word pact implies agreement and cooperation between parties. I read no evidence of The Others wanting peace. But I know Jon and Dani do. Happily, they have enough common sense and youthful idealism and magical bloodlines to pull peace off among the Westerosi humans. Would it be so bad if that was the peace attained after the ice demons were smote with magic swords in an epic battle for Dawn? Something has to bring these morons together.
  13. Cersei's hair is cut off. As much is made of Cersei's golden locks, this is a huge loss for her. Cersei's beauty is and always has been her point of sale, just as Jamie's swordsmanship defines him. Tyrion is already unattractive--what is the point of the maiming for him? Tyrion's loss is not bound up in his core sense of identity unlike his siblings' losses. Why would the gods only punish the brothers?
  14. That Tyrion is a sort of Targaryen Sphinx? I'm not so sure about wights unless I am lost (again) in the idea that there are specific Targ wights along the lines of the Red Priests' resurrections? I vacillate between Targaryans being of the R'hllor ilk and their own special brand of fire wightish. While Martin's genetic ideas are all over the place I do think the bottom line is there are humans who are bent to certain elemental persuasions complete with magical abilities. Along the lines of comic book characters if you will. Rhaella had many many miscarriages, still births and very early deaths among the many children she mothered. Seems to me Maegor had a similar problem without proving himself quite so fertile as Aerys. I personally like the idea of Tyrion being an actual sphinx baby with all the chimerical traits he's got. It's been a very long time, nearly a century and a half, since the last Targ sphinx baby I know of was born.
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