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ravenous reader

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  1. Your idea makes good sense symbolically. Consider the following: This is an example of what @LmL has termed GRRM’s characteristic “fractal symbolism”: Thus, the cat sees Cat who then sees through the cat’s eyes! As a Faceless Man (FM) trainee, Arya has changed the appearance of her face (to ‘Blind Beth’), yet nevertheless the cat can ‘see through’ the guise to recognise her underlying, former identity as ‘Cat.’ Animals generally seem more capable naturally than humans of the ‘True seeing’, as evidenced by the fact that Casso, King of Seals (See-ls?), is also not taken in by FM tricks. This is an allegory for the parable of the Sealord’s cat, making Syrio not only the one to see the cat’s true identity, but from which it also follows from a certain perspective that Syrio can be seen as the Sealord’s cat himself. In other words, Syrio (See-rio?) facilitates the Sealord’s seeing (pun on See-Lord), analogously to how the cat enables blind Arya/Beth to see via skinchanging. This convoluted, ‘fractal’ role-exchange demonstrates a key theme of the author’s whereby “the hunters become the hunted,” and vice versa. Paradoxically, in order to overcome the antagonist, one must ‘become’ the antagonist, thereby no longer really ‘antagonising’ them, but rather neutralising them, utilising their own element against them, a la the Knight of the Mirror Shield. Fighting fire with fire, ice with ice (this would involve being an ice wight like Coldhands or skinchanging an Other/ice dragon, etc.), or catching cats by taking on the characteristics, even slipping into the skin, of a cat oneself. Hence, Syrio’s first lesson of catching cats — foreshadowing that in order to outwit Lannisters (lions), the Stark girl (wolf) must learn to think/see/move like a cat: Spot on! One of my pet peeves is the pretentious application of ‘Occam’s Razor’, ‘Chekhov’s Gun’, and, worst of all, Science, to fantasy literary analysis. For the purposes of ASOIAF, the only thing that matters is a coherent symbolic reading.
  2. One of my favorite topics, ever since @evita mgfs suggested it! Definitely time-travel hijinks involved, as indicated by the marker of the tree ‘growing in fast-forward’(analogous to that growing/going in reverse in Bran’s vision):
  3. Maybe it’s both? The descendants inherit, and must account for, the original sin of the forefathers. GRRM likes paradox and inversion: A nameless, faceless plant... “Such a small thing to hold the power of life and death. It was made from a certain plant that grew only on the islands of the Jade Sea [greensea=greensee].”
  4. Haha. As one of his best readers, you know he doesn’t like closure...
  5. “I am my own champion, my own fool, and my own harpist.” (ASOS Jon X) “Words Are Wind...”
  6. Thanks! That’s a fair way of framing it. @Unchained has written an interesting essay on the subject, exploring how unconscious, rather than conscious, wishes/prayers may manifest — Answered Prayers. According to his ingenious reading, Dany unconsciously offered up her unborn baby as a sacrifice, in order to save her own life, and possibly Drogo’s. After all, she was so desperate, she was willing to pay any price to bring him back from the brink of death, as you point out. When one is so desperate, one becomes apt to make reckless choices. Inviting Mirri Maz Dur to work black magic on her behalf was the equivalent of wielding a ‘sword without a hilt’ (in other words, ignoring Ned’s injunction, that the wo/man who passes the sentence, should swing the sword). One of GRRM’s oft-overlooked themes is questioning the culpability of the watcher — the one for whom killing is done by proxy. In the current day, the prevailing ethos tends to provide exculpation by virtue of calling everyone a victim (for whom Daenerys is the champion-by-projection); however, GRRM is not so ready to give those who stand by, however passively, a free pass: Lyanna and Jon? @Frey family reunion
  7. The lives of Dany’s 3 male kin are currency, exchanged for dragons. Fittingly, in-world ‘Dragons’ are gold coins, underscoring the blood magic price paid! In Viserys’ execution/murder, this relation is visually dramatised by the ‘gold medallions’ — i.e. gold coins — melted down, in exchange for Viserys’ life, similarly dissolved. Controversial question: if Dany’s kin — brother, son & spouse (sacrifice chronology corresponding to dragon birth order) — are currency for dragon creation, does it follow that Daenerys is in any way complicit/implicated in kinslaying? Because, ultimately, that’s what I believe ‘waking the dragon’ entails — kinslaying. Did she dare dabble in the dark arts, in the name of ambition... Or is she a righteous, rather hapless victim, as the rabid SJW crowd would have it? Nice analysis! Analogously, weirwood magic (sinking into the greensea) vs. ‘seeing beyond the trees’. I believe the ‘son who will cross the greensea’ is Bran — he’s the stallion who will mount the world. As evidence, consider that the prophecy of the stallion ‘riding’ is given in the corresponding chapter (A Game of Thrones - Daenerys V) to Bran riding out of Winterfell ‘like the wind’: Indeed. But, as I’ve mentioned above, I think ‘waking the dragon’ has a darker meaning — i.e. kinslaying. As discussed, signifying a blood price... A Crown, like a Dragon, is a coin! ‘Kissed by fire’, like Viserys — probably not a good omen! Interestingly, both Daenerys and Bran experience kisses of fire in their magic transformations via shade-of-the-evening and weirwood bole respectively (‘taste of molten gold’ [visceral reliving of Viserys’ death — see @40 Thousand Skeletons] and the ‘last kiss his [red-haired, kissed-by-fire] mother gave him’, evoked by putative ‘Jojen paste’ sacrifice). You’ve heard of @Wizz-The-Smith’s COINS/SCION wordplay? Not made explicit in the text per se, but captures the theme of trading in ones relatives, including, especially children, for power (‘blood of my blood’... power of my power). The intersection of crown/crone is demonstrated by Stannis’s shrinking and greying, with depletion of his reproductive power, like a Crone, after having killed his brother in the name of power, making the ‘deal with the devil,’ selling his soul a la Macbeth. This is the most interesting aspect of GRRM’s moral equation, in that the one stealing power from his/her brother must in turn give up his/her own reproductive potential, for which removing the ‘belt’ is possibly a metaphor (think of wearing ones purse on ones belt, like a codpiece, the modern-day ‘fannypack’!) Similarly, when Bran falls from the tower, having had his 3rd eye opened with the ‘terrible knowledge’, the gold kernels of corn simultaneously fall from his pocket, symbolising his lost ‘seed’ (cf. Greek gods, Zeus); likewise, Dany is famously barren after the birth of the dragons (having given up her human son in exchange for her dragon child/ren). Do you think the constellation ‘Orion’s Belt’ (like Orion, Drogo is the Warrior archetype) may inform our interpretation? There is an intriguing biblical passage from Job 38, KJV: Killing = presuming to seize the ‘fire of the gods’ for oneself (not achieved with impunity):
  8. Regarding magical transformation, drowning, or, more accurately, near-drowning is a metaphor for greenseeing, as per the ‘greensea’ pun I’ve identified. Meta-wise, the reader's experience of drowning in sea/see symbolism reinforces the symbolism of (near-)drowning as a greenseeing metaphor! Read my response in @hiemal’s classic Nennymoan thread, inspired, so many moons ago, by the quintessential near-drownee, Patchface, and my curiosity to crack the meaning of his riddles, particularly the reiterated phrase held in common among the riddles, ‘under the sea’... If you don’t want to read the whole thing — it’s lengthy, I know I know — then see purple headings 'Drowning as a metaphor for greenseeing' & 'Bran's phenomenology of greenseeing':
  9. I’ve noticed that italics are used to indicate a telepathic communication (e.g 3EC to Bran, or Jon hearing Bran’s silent shout in the weirwood sapling dream, or Viserys appearing to Dany on the Dothraki Sea); or more prosaically, offering a window on a character’s inner, private thoughts (e.g Jaime thinking the truth, often being at odds with what he says), if that helps. If you quote the Cersei passage you have in mind, I could take a look.
  10. Color symbolism is tricky. How do you account for the 'grey-green' continuum? How does 'black' figure into this schema? I think black represents the hyphen between green and grey! Black is the burning of green, leaving the grey residue of ash in its aftermath.
  11. Lions are listed alongside direwolves as among the animals a magically-endowed person might skinchange. A lion housed at Casterly Rock (a 'hollow hill' greenseer-king venue , according to @Wizz-The-Smith's theory) would literally be a 'cave lion.' Also, Varamyr controls a shadow cat, which is basically a mountain lion, so we're certainly supposed to consider Lannisters and their ancestors having such magical ability potentially. The language used to describe someone such as Lann the Clever, or the curious tale of Lord Loreon Lannister vs. Hooded Lord Morgon Banefort, also has a greenseer flair. I'm not sure what you're questioning here?
  12. "Dragons are a symbol of peace and rebuilding..." Likewise, @LmL says fire and blood is "neutral." We really inhabit the 'post-truth' alt-universe now! Martin likes playing his games, coyly equivocating on the periphery. However, nothing is 'confirmed,' until it's written. Dany represents Vietnam and Iraq --blonde and boobified, but horror, nonetheless... Despite such sultry modifications, these so-called 'liberations' are not going to end well, poppet. And, as @Mithras quoted above, the word 'seem' coming from GRRM is hardly a clincher! Keep reading.
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