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ravenous reader

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About ravenous reader

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    The Poetess of the Nennymoans

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  1. @Seams said: For the purposes of his symbolic relations, GRRM often employs inversions. Thus, at the Tower of Joy the hostages (Lyanna and baby Jon) are on the inside of the tower, with the savior/s (Ned aided by Howland Reed) on the outside; whereas at Queenscrown the hostages (the silent old man and adult Jon) are on the outside, with the savior/s (Bran plus the Reeds) on the inside! Similarly, Jon is moving South, in contrast to Bran who is journeying North, with their paths fatefully crossing at Queenscrown. Bran goes under the Wall, while Jon climbs over it, etc. This kind of inversion is in line with what you've already identified on the 'Upstairs Downstairs' and 'Direwolves don't Cry' threads, in which one character's ascent is matched with another character's descent. The equivalent of the Kingsguard are therefore the Wildlings, who increasingly view Jon with suspicion, and advocate killing him. This would dovetail with the 'heretic' view that Lyanna and Jon were meant to be sacrificed by the Kingsguard on Rhaegar's orders in some kind of dragon-hatching, second-lifing blood magic ritual. Accordingly, the execution scene of the old man, and the impending threat against Jon, reads like a ritual sacrifice, complete with the Magnar of Thenn uttering words in the old tongue, echoing all the other magical incantations with which GRRM so frequently plays -- culminating in a lightning intervention. I am on board with @Voice's reasoning, as set forth in his thread 'Lyanna Stark A Gift from Old Gods.' Ned plays the role of the wolf who rescues his nephew in the eleventh hour ('hour of the wolf..?!), but is too late to save Lyanna. I agree.
  2. ravenous reader

    The were-wood hypothesis

    When it comes to unpicking GRRM's wordplay, it's important to realize that equivocation is the name of his game (as evidenced by the fact that when asked a direct question, he inevitably gives a non-committal answer) -- i.e. all meanings of any given word or phrase may apply at once; in other words, the meaning is overlayed. So, posters getting their knickers in a twist, self-righteously insisting on one meaning over another, or rigidly privileging a literal in favor of a metaphorical interpretation, or vice versa, are usually missing the plot. That said, I think the weirs are first and foremost a nod to Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead. I am also convinced the direwolves, the crown of ice blue roses, the ripples on a windless night, the turtle/terrapin mythology, Dark Star, etc. are all Grateful Dead-inspired references. GRRM admits to listening to their albums a lot, and concedes he always has lyrics/songs of theirs 'rattling around his head', so I imagine when he has writer's block, he pops on one of their records in the background, and the vivid images inevitably seep out onto the page, albeit in GRRM's reworked form! That South American legend you mentioned sounds interesting. Can you tell us more about the one you have in mind? It's possible that, as @LmL and his fellow 'mythheads' have suggested, Nissa Nissa may have been a Child of the Forest, whose sacrifice to the trees served as a door or portal, facilitating access to the weirwood magic by 'man' -- by which is meant humans in general, starting with a very specific human greenseer, whom we may interpret as the Azor Ahai figure, the treacherous lover-warrior from another tribe. The signature of this pivotal relationship Ur-drama is everywhere in ASOIAF. GRRM has said that ultimately he is writing about the human heart in conflict, so while fungi, meteors, aliens, and the like are undoubtedly of interest to explore, the importance of the human relationships for setting things in motion should not be overlooked. The central dialectic for GRRM in my opinion revolves around betrayal (oathkeeping vs. oathbreaking). As I and other theorists such as @Voice have noted, 'speech' or 'song' of the children is a euphemism for magic spells, so this passage is referring to the acquisition of magic by the progenitor of House Stark (song of stone, wind, and water covers three of the four elemental magics). What would you say was 'the manner' via which he gained access to the magic? And why is this manner 'not worth repeating'?
  3. ravenous reader

    Lyanna Stark: A Gift from Old Gods

    Bran is the blue flower, the chink in the wall, the bitter bloom. 'The things I do for love' -- I'll explain it later...
  4. ravenous reader

    POEMS (or other sundry quotes) that remind you of ASOIAF -- V2

    Welcome to our Poetry thread, @Pride of Driftmark -- I like it! Hello fellow Corvid; welcome to the Poetry thread. The turtle soup confessional is a great example, uniting mocking and cess pool motifs, my favorites... Pity it only took place in the show and not in the text, but at least D&D got the gist of it, giving GRRM the nod with their take on the 'bowl of brown'...
  5. I haven't read the whole thread, so sorry if it's been covered -- the literal castrations as well as symbolic emasculations are very important. I can't offer a definitive exegesis, but @Crowfood's Daughter has related the castration motif to the Fisher King wound, the 'dolorous stroke.' We get references to being 'unmanned' as early as the Prologue, in which that word is repeated twice, so it's key. Further examples include Theon, Varys, other eunuchs such as the Unsullied, Cersei's penis envy directed vs her brothers, viciously cutting them down to size, (not so nimble) Dick who is decapitated with a morningstar, and Yellow Dick's gruesome fate, one might saying 'biting his own tail' like the dragon in the ouroboros, among others. Then, more controversially, what about Daenerys who magically lobotomised her husband, got him to bite a pillow (in an inversion of what he used to do to her), and then usurped his position, bells, braids and all..? Not to mention Tormund's missing member jokes, and the subtext of all the lost and broken swords and swordhands. GRRM has protested that he's Into 'boobies not wieners', contradicting South Park's insinuation that he's 'obsessed with wieners' -- is that why he's apparently so obsessed with removing them..?
  6. ravenous reader

    Out of Context Quotes

    @Pain killer Jane and I have been pioneers, endeavouring for some time to engage the fandom in shitty discourse -- but LmL persists in censoring our efforts, in favor of more savory topics, LOL! It has become a running joke on twitter... It's sometimes uncomfortable for fans to acknowledge how GRRM's work does not always make for pleasant, nor especially 'politically correct' reading, a case in point being his obsession with excrement and his treatment of prostitution. People on twitter have even been cowed into using the politically correct term 'sex worker', to avoid a dissection of GRRM's explicit use of the term 'whore' -- which poetically has been linked to 'hoar', with implications for the Long Night, as @Darry Man has shown. See his excellent thread, showcasing his original idea, 'Where Whores Go': I love your explanation, Lolly! The weirwood remembers. It is the rejected, yet indelible, Shadow of the collective unconscious, as described by Jung. GRRM is alluding to this idea, e.g. in the choice of the name "Riverrun", which, as @Daendrew followed by @sweetsunray have highlighted, is a reference to the first word of James Joyce's classic 'Finnegans Wake', linking up with the last sentence of the novel, to give: a way a lone a last a loved a long the / riverrun, past Eve and Adam’s, from swerve of shore to bend of bay, brings us by a commodius vicus of recirculation back to Howth Castle and Environs. I won't parse the whole passage, suffice to note that among the many layered meanings of 'commodious', a commode is a toilet, and 'commodious recirculation' is therefore a description of the polluted river as a sewer system -- with the ultimate message being that the vicious cycle of history has much in common with a cess pool, in which we all float like turds, carried by the current. Think of the sludgy brown mudflats fed by the river at the Quiet Isle, which receives, and regurgitates all things, corpses and gems alike (Seams' buries/rubies wordplay applies). Not coincidentally, the Azor Ahai trickster, naughty greenseer figure, Tyrion is Master of Sewers, served with ingeniously unblocking the 'bowels' of Casterly Rock. Make of that what you will. GRRM is also making a comment on how humans frequently treat other human beings like shit. He is a cynical romantic -- like Jaime.
  7. ravenous reader

    Out of Context Quotes

    All good points -- but why specifically is the weirwood/weirnet compared to a privy or cess pool? Life mimics art -- it's called 'the John' because John Harington, the ancestor of Kit Harington who plays Jon in the show, invented the flush toilet!
  8. ravenous reader

    Out of Context Quotes

    This idea of the weirwood/weirnet as privy, cesspool, or brothel is very interesting. There is an abundance of symbolism supporting these associations (despite such compelling evidence, my observation thereof, now bolstered by @zandru's superb find, has aroused controversy among the more prudish and/or politically correct). What message is GRRM trying to convey by doing this, do you think?
  9. ravenous reader

    The Three-Eyed-Crow is Old Nan, not Bloodraven

    Except, GRRM does not give us 'clear and simple meanings'. It's the primary reason he's such a master of suspense. In other words, the 'premise' of which you speak is anything but 'straightforward'! GRRM does not do anything straightforwardly. His writing is not a direct path -- it is a maze designed to delight and disorientate the reader, a kaleidoscopic hall of mirrors (in which we are trapped ): Good point. It's a paradox! These passages imply that once Bran weds the weirwood (which we witness him doing in ADWD), past, present and future by extension become one for Bran. Therefore, the usual assumptions of chronology or causality no longer apply to him. Taken to its inevitable conclusion, this means that Bran was a greenseer before he learned to be one, even though he needed to train in order to become one...a paradox (represented by the notion of a half-forgotten language..."He could almost understand them . . . not quite, not truly, but almost . . . as if they were singing in a language he had once known and somehow forgotten"). The proof for this strange state of affairs is that Bran existed as an agent in the world even before his own birth, in that he was able to make an impact on his father via greenseeing (even if this was 'only' via the wind and Ned's response to it rustling the leaves), before he was even a sperm in his young father's scrotum! It truly is mindboggling. As for your assertion that Bran is not a greenseer, consider the following, which cannot be the work of someone whose powers are merely on the level of a warg/skinchanger: Bloodraven, in contrast, try as he might, cannot speak to others when he is greenseeing. He says plaintively that 'no word of mine has reached them', speaking of his 'ghosts'. Bran, however, is able to reach his 'ghost', namely Reek, Theon's remnant, or otherwise stated the 'ghost' of Theon, in the eponymous chapter 'A Ghost in Winterfell' (an ambiguous title which can refer both to Theon as well as the one who 'haunts him', the ghost of the heart tree, Bran): This statement -- as Dorian keeps reminding me -- is immediately qualified by Bloodraven saying that 'the past is past' and 'cannot be changed'; however, the fact that Bran's words do reach Theon in a subsequent chapter is meant to tease us with the possibility that Bran may be capable of things of which Bloodraven can only dream (you see what I mean about GRRM being a master of equivocation?). I'd wager, Bloodraven is neither the greatest greenseer, nor the Last. Paradoxically, his third eye was already open before he opened his third eye. As I alluded to above, once he weds the tree and looks through its eyes, he could even conceivably watch his younger self in the godswood, like the heart tree in the so-called 'coma dream' brooding self-reflexively on its own reflection looking back at itself from the black pool with 'knowing eyes.'
  10. ravenous reader

    Out of Context Quotes

    That's a great catch!
  11. ravenous reader

    Wow, I never noticed that v.16

    Red Comet -- harbinger of Red Wedding:
  12. ravenous reader

    Why do the direwolves hate Tyrion?

    The direwolves and Tyrion may have a date with destiny. This passage feels like foreshadowing -- though of what I could not say. There's also a symbolic parallel made to the Prologue events. See for yourselves:
  13. ravenous reader

    Out of Context Quotes

    It's the ever popular "Moon Door" aka The King's Justice. But ... the description also matches the traditional outhouse, or privy. Why is that reminiscent of a privy (besides the suggestive fact that it's called a *moon* door...)?
  14. ravenous reader

    Moments of Foreshadowing v.12

    Catelyn II, Clash 22  Jaime will be a kinslayer before ASOIAF ends, when he slays his sister and fulfills the valonqar prophecy. Perhaps Jaime's already a kinslayer... The beast *seemed* to be saying...because Jaime misheard the dragon...who said, "I know you KIN-slayer"! It's waiting for him to come, and it knows him, because he's one of them. If Jaime is Aerys's bastard, then he might be a Waters instead of a Lannister -- adding another level of irony to Jaime's impatience with encountering the gaoler Rennifer Longwaters with his longwinded tales detailing his drop of dragon's blood. From a psychoanalytic perspective, the subterranean descent -- i.e. critical stage of the Hero's Journey -- is quintessentially a quest for self-knowledge. Down there, Jaime is encountering clues to none other than his own identity.
  15. Dorian, your reputation in the forum has been rated 'mostly harmless'...LOL (perhaps it's time to revise your desire for 'revenge')!