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ravenous reader

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  1. ravenous reader

    About R+L=J and a different point of view

    You are such a romantic.. It was about hatching dragons. He needed skinchanger blood for the dragon-hatching recipe! MUAH HA HA "The sphinx is the riddle..."
  2. Hi everyone and welcome to our V2 POEMS thread! Thank you to all for making our first POETRY thread such a great success -- what a stimulating discussion we've had! @Pain killer Jane, @LmL, @Blue Tiger, @Wizz-The-Smith, @Cridefea, @Unchained, @Durran Durrandon, @hiemal, @YOVMO, @Walda, @Isobel Harper, @Tijgy, @Meera of Tarth, @LynnS, @Bironic, @Seams, @King Merrett I Frey, @Frey family reunion, @The Fattest Leech, @Lykos, @dannicus, @Feather Crystal, @Cowboy Dan, @SummerSphinx, @Jon's Queen Consort, @aDanceWithFlagons, @Good Guy Garlan , @cgrav, @LiveFirstDieLater, @Dorian Martell's son, @Lady of Harmony, @Quoth the raven, @Weirwood Ghost, @Blackwater Revenant, @Voice, and last-but-not-least @40 Thousand Skeletons -- With all your thoughtful contributions, you've enriched our appreciation of the text, and my life on a personal note, more than you could know. Although I'm a bit sad that the thread has been locked (probably due to its length with over 400 posts and more than 20 pages...), I'm also pleased by and proud of its resounding popularity, ultimately having attracted more than 15000 views, which attests to poetry's enduring resonance; hence, its ability to answer the call of the 'human heart in conflict with itself,' if not solve all of GRRM's mysteries! I originally was moved to start such a thread in response to a tacit challenge issued by my dear friend the dragon (aka @LmL), with whom I've memorably hashed though the symbolic undergrowth and taken many celestial flights, one day questioning poetry's relevance to the enterprise before us of attempting to decipher GRRM's meaning, or at least achieve a deeper understanding of the text. As I recall, he had dismissed Shakespeare -- which is ironic, given that GRRM right at the beginning of the journey places a nod to William Shakespeare via 'Will,' as the main protagonist and 'naughty greenseer' archetype from whose point of view we experience the GOT Prologue. At the time, I found LmL's curious 'resistance to poetry' amusing (irony always amuses me), given that I've encountered few frequenting these parts so evidently demonstrating as much poetic flair in their writing as he! Yes, the poetic can be found in the most surprising of places, and people (even those who protest against it...); and, as such, possesses the power to pierce through our preconceptions and prejudices, enabling us to see in a new light, to catch a glimpse, however briefly, of the elusive truth of both the other and our very self. Another whom I've found to be refreshingly poetic (or perhaps he's just adept at operating 'the Google' to rapidly locate fitting poetic ripostes to all my clever offerings...) is @Dorian Martell's son. He has introduced me to several thought-provoking poems I had never hitherto encountered. In our recent interchange -- you could call it a 'love-hate affair' -- Dorian wittily argued with both me and John Donne (the latter one of the most renowned poets of all time specifically for the elegant construction of his witty metaphysical arguments), sparked by my unwelcome attempt to compliment Dorian on his wit ('nope', you can't win with that one...)! This is a sample of our (poetry) duel: To which Dorian deftly countered with: (As a little bit of trivia, it's funny that Kit Harington was named by his parents for Christoper -- nicknamed 'Kit' -- Marlowe and recently performed in Marlowe's play 'Dr Faustus'!) Anyway, with all this talk of 'love and hate,' we'd better invite both Shakespeare and GRRM to also have their say on the topic (note the playful oxymorons): Here’s much to do with hate but more with love. Why then, O brawling love, O loving hate, O anything of nothing first created! O heavy lightness, serious vanity, Misshapen chaos of well-seeming forms! Feather of lead, bright smoke, cold fire, sick health, Still-waking sleep, that is not what it is! This love feel I, that feel no love in this. Dost thou not laugh? -- Romeo, from Romeo and Juliet, Act 1 Scene 1 A Storm of Swords - Bran II "Because they're different," he insisted. "Like night and day, or ice and fire." "If ice can burn," said Jojen in his solemn voice, "then love and hate can mate. Mountain or marsh, it makes no matter. The land is one." "One," his sister agreed, "but over wrinkled." This may actually be my favourite ASOIAF quote -- I think 'one-but-over-wrinkled' perfectly describes the style/construction (described as a 'fractal' concept by @LmL) of GRRM's writing, as well as the philosophy behind it! For those of you unfamiliar with the first poetry thread, you might like reading my original introduction to that, which I've replicated here as follows, in order to get an idea of what it's about: [P.S. In hindsight, it turns out that I was right about the castle, as I predicted... ] So -- WHAT IS POETRY? -- As I've mentioned, poetry takes many surprising forms and expressions and resists neat pigeonholing. Here are three definitions of poetry which I enjoy pondering, as offered by three well-known poets -- the first in particular dedicated to those of you who profess to 'dislike it' (poetry and/or my thread/s... ), in which Moore famously described poetry as the seemingly contradictory 'imaginary gardens with real toads in them...' (which is kind of apt, considering GRRM claims to be a 'gardener'...): Poetry I, too, dislike it: there are things that are important beyond all this fiddle. Reading it, however, with a perfect contempt for it, one discovers that there is in it after all, a place for the genuine. Hands that can grasp, eyes that can dilate, hair that can rise if it must, these things are important not because a high-sounding interpretation can be put upon them but because they are useful; when they become so derivative as to become unintelligible, the same thing may be said for all of us—that we do not admire what we cannot understand. The bat, holding on upside down or in quest of something to eat, elephants pushing, a wild horse taking a roll, a tireless wolf under a tree, the immovable critic twinkling his skin like a horse that feels a flea, the base- ball fan, the statistician—case after case could be cited did one wish it; nor is it valid to discriminate against “business documents and school-books”; all these phenomena are important. One must make a distinction however: when dragged into prominence by half poets, the result is not poetry, nor till the autocrats among us can be “literalists of the imagination”—above insolence and triviality and can present for inspection, imaginary gardens with real toads in them, shall we have it. In the meantime, if you demand on the one hand, in defiance of their opinion— the raw material of poetry in all its rawness, and that which is on the other hand, genuine, then you are interested in poetry. MARIANNE MOORE "If I read a book and it makes my whole body so cold no fire can warm me I know that is poetry. If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry. These are the only way I know it. Is there any other way?” EMILY DICKINSON "Poetry is an echo, asking a shadow to dance." CARL SANDBURG Allow me to let you in on a secret hiding in plain sight -- Ice is Water! -- therefore their magics must be related, as reflected in the symmetry of GRRM's word choices, so dancing with a sword of ice 'alive with moonlight' decked in icy armor likened earlier in the Prologue to 'moonlight running on water' is doing the 'water dance'. It's the 'dance' of the greenseers, and it's poetry in motion (it's also related to 'the killing word,' but I won't bore you with that today...): I bet you the so-called 'water wizards' or 'greensea-ers,' as I like to call them, are also responsible for calling forth the Others! (P.S. Note the allusion to Amergin's Invocation) Here's a further clue that 'water-wizardry' is none other than 'greenseeing,' and moreover that the Others emerge from the weirwood net. Note that in this passage Osha functions symbolically as a Night's Queen / Other stand-in -- that's why GRRM has Summer sniff her suspiciously, because that's what direwolves do (they can 'smell the cold') to check if someone emerging from the underworld realm is (un)dead!: The idea of 'smelling cold' is an example of the literary device (and psychiatric phenomenon) of 'synesthesia' which, as suggested below, GRRM might be using to suggest a visionary / magically altered state of mind:
  3. ravenous reader

    Does Asoiaf Have a True Protagonist? *SPOILERS*

    The author is the protagonist. He says we are all heroes in our own story; and it's his story, after all. If I had to pick one, I'd say Bran is the sleeper hero.
  4. ravenous reader

    It's like poetry, it rhymes

    I really enjoyed reading this piece of yours, when @Crowfood's Daughter shared it with us the other day. Are you familiar with this thread..? @Kingmonkey said something similar:
  5. Hi Meera! Long time...but never tired of discussing our Bran. Admittedly, it's my favorite tinfoil! I could be wrong. What say you to my symbolically-invested 'fanfic', @Dorian Martell's son..?
  6. Bran sits the greenseer throne, master of magical not mundane power. As such, he will be instrumental in the final war and its outcome, but he has Other things on his mind besides vying for political power. I also think he will sacrifice himself to save his brother Jon, his family and the world, so he will not be around to sit any throne at the end. The execution scene in AGOT serves to prepare Bran for his own death. 'The man who passes the sentence must swing the sword'...I see Bran as the old gods trinity, making him at once the man who passes the sentence (the father), the one who swings the sword (the Holy Spirit... skinchanging Viserion, the Dawn sword), and the sacrifice (the son). The Iron Throne will likely not survive at the end. A new political order will arise. Addendum: I predict the Last Dragon will be Viserion, skinchanged by Bran, the Last Greenseer, making them together 'the Promised Prince', who will heroically take control of the army of the dead from the Night's King. They will leave this world together, and with them magic will depart from the world. This is how Winter fell. Bittersweet. (Bran is the third head of the dragon.)
  7. ravenous reader

    The Prophecy Glitch

    I don't think it's that complex. GRRM toys with prophecy, because it's a way of seducing the reader's interest and creating suspense, which he then delights in keeping perennially unsatisfied. While I like your idea of second-lifing dragons, your presentation of the 'solutions' to the prophecies has always been a tad forthright, admitting of no alternative, and therefore likely to be wrong. Remember GRRM's warning to the 'cocky' in this respect!
  8. ravenous reader

    The Prophecy Glitch

    Agreed. In fact, I think GRRM is issuing a warning not only not to get too obsessed with unraveling the prophecies, but on a meta- level not to get too obsessed with trying to 'crack the code' of his books, for which the prophecies, like the weirnet, are a metaphor. If I've gleaned anything from these evaporated years examining his prose -- as slippery as the changing reflections of an Other's armor -- it's the subliminal challenge he lays down to the reader, to extricate oneself from this ultimately maddeningly open-ended activity, before it consumes one! Like Bran, we must pull ourselves together and leap -- out of, instead of into, the text. GRRM abandoned this text a long time ago. I don't know what we, myself included, are still doing here?! Some like @Unchained, my missed partner in 'countermockery,' succeed in escaping GRRM's weir of words (™); others do not. I know @Lost Melnibonean will understand.
  9. ravenous reader

    The Prophecy Glitch

    We are probably all missing something, although I couldn't tell you what that is, as it eludes also me! No, it's not essential. They are like teasers, the full significance of which one only really understands after the fact of their coming to fruition. Nevertheless, I find it fun to endlessly speculate on the meaning of a 'nennymoan' (please enlighten me, @By Odin's Beard...), although I'd be daft to presume it's 'essential'! Most of the time, I can see that Martin is doing something, although I don't know why! He repeats himself a lot (symbolically, that is), for example. This curious kaleidoscopic reiteration has been picked up by various readers, e.g. @Kingmonkey, @Feather Crystal, @LmL or @Rusted Revolver and me, etc. We all have different hypotheses, as diverse as 'puppets of ice and fire,' 'moon meteor fractals,' 'inversion of history,' and GRRM's real-life love triangle 'Me-LISA-(a)ndre', respectively! In the end, I'm more of a literal reader than you might think, in that the equivocation game eventually becomes tiresome, and I desire satisfying resolutions.
  10. ravenous reader

    The Prophecy Glitch

    Each to their own. This story can be accessed on many different levels. However, I would be cautious before issuing such an overly-confident, dismissive proclamation that "these sorts of parallels don't matter"... You may not be a symbolic reader, but GRRM is most definitely a symbolic writer!
  11. The real dichotomy is, as you once pointed out at the top of your excellent Puns and Wordplay thread, between SWORDS vs. WORDS: To the point about textuality (both in terms of texts and textiles), perhaps 'sewing' the frayed fabric of society back together involves a facility with words. GRRM is asking a probing question, more relevant than ever, regarding wielding words with integrity, when he reminds us that 'the man passing the SENTENCE, should swing the sword.' 'My own name is a killing word. Will it be a healing word as well?'
  12. ravenous reader

    ASOIAF Jokes

    Thanks for the clarification. Even if it's not Egg himself, the 'bald' head may nevertheless still be a symbolic allusion to him, the egghead of the undercover dragons being quite a distinctive recurring sign (think of Varys or Dany). P.S. Yes, I've been told to read them before, but I'm a stubborn bird.
  13. ravenous reader

    Jon and Bran - a Shared Dream, Direwolves and More

    I find myself returning to this topic again and again. Besides the question of the origin of the Others, Jon's dream is the mystery which most continues to fascinate me. You bring up a great point many readers have curiously stayed clear of addressing. Setting aside the controversial subject of 'time travel' for a moment, I would like someone to explain firstly, why Bran appears in the dream as a weirwood avatar in ACOK, when as you correctly point out he only 'weds the tree' and awakens his greenseeing powers proper in ADWD. At that point in his arc in 'real time' (i.e. Bran ACOK), he is actually afraid of the tree and its tree dreams calling him, rather than having assumed the greenseer throne and confidently taken up root in it (i.e. Bran ADWD). I hope no-one dares suggest that this is merely 'foreshadowing'... I need more to satisfy me than that! Secondly, I would like a clear and definitive explanation as to why GRRM has included the telltale marker of the time-lapsed weirwood growing up in fast-forward, as an integral feature of the dream, which seems to indicate a timeshift. Much as I love symbolism, a vague allusion to Bran's maturing magical powers is not really adequate to account for the tree phenomenon, especially when taken in conjunction with a similar motif GRRM has already shown us in the AGOT 'coma dream', in which the trees shrink away into nothing as they 'die in reverse', which as I've interpreted it, is a sign of time elapsing in the present to past direction. Finally, let me add a friendly reminder, that just because we do not like a thing, that is not sufficient reason to automatically disqualify it from possessing validity. For example, I have not hidden my distaste for the 'Tyrion as secret Targ' theory, yet with time I've had to concede that the preponderance of evidence overwhelmingly favors it. Likewise, if one follows the discrepancies of Jon's dream to their logical conclusion... Another good question. It's perplexing that most readers accept that Bran, the untrained greenseer ingenue hunkering down in the crypt, is capable of unconsciously opening someone's third eye. I simply don't buy it. Whomever one deems the three-eyed crow to be, surely we all agree that they are an advanced order greenseer who opened Bran's third eye intentionally and in full consciousness of what they were doing? This would necessarily imply intact memory after the fact of what one had done, which is not the case for Bran. If Jon is able to recollect the dream, relating the details to his Night's Watch brothers afterwards, then how come Bran the purported mastermind is unable to similarly remember it? In other words, why is he confused when he wakes up, when Jon isn't? "Maybe he had only dreamt it' is not good enough to account for such an advanced power. The argument that Bran is a prodigy who performs advanced magic feats unconsciously is also not very convincing! Are you suggesting Bran opened his own third eye?! Agree on all counts. Yes, there is definitely an echo of Bran in that Old Nan tale. The legend of Gendel and Gorne also springs to mind.
  14. ravenous reader

    ASOIAF Jokes

    Is the bald knight in hard pursuit Egg? So then he's a hard boiled (bald) egg! If he keeps falling, then Humpty Dumpty reference? (I've never read Dunk & Egg!)
  15. ravenous reader

    ASOIAF Jokes

    I'm not following. Can someone please explain the significance of this quote to me? Not getting the joke either Is it the potential sexual innuendo that is so titillating..?
  16. ravenous reader

    Silverwing and the Dying of the Dragons

    Reading between the lines, GRRM is actually very interested in the Jeyne Poole! (pun courtesy Leech @The Fattest Leech)
  17. ravenous reader

    [spoilers] Aerea

    Three questions: Firstly, what immediately jumps out is that GRRM has deliberately made the name AEREA a palindrome. He likes Alice-Through-The-Looking-Glass-type games, so this mirror reflection is significant for some reason. What is the deeper significance? Any ideas? Secondly, why the 'baby swap' motif cropping up everywhere, of which this fits the pattern? Think, for example, of the case of Monster, Gilly and Craster's child, swapped by Jon for Aemon Steelsong, Mance and Dalla's baby, his milk brother. Because of the switch, one child is destined to be burned, while another escapes under an alias. Aerea is not really Aerea, but in actual fact her twin sister Rhaella, who gets burnt by Valyrian sorcery. Finally, it's obvious GRRM is comparing these worms, whatever they are physically, to weirwoods symbolically. Snakes with faces, worms with hands, squishy and wriggly etc., like magical parasites, described as possessing the victim much in the same way we see Bloodraven's body rather obscenely riddled through, and reduced to a corpse by the nest of roots compared to milk snakes and graveworms. The invasion of one species, as it were, by another, is a skinchanger metaphor. Mysteriously, the victim in the end is compelled to utter terrifying words, or 'speak in (unspeakable) tongues', which has echoes of a greenseer painfully acquiring the True Tongue, by sacrifice. So, what is the author telling us about the relationship, if any, between Valyria and 'Old Gods' skinchanging/greenseeing magic?
  18. ravenous reader

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

    This Be The Verse They fuck you up, your mum and dad. They may not mean to, but they do. They fill you with the faults they had And add some extra, just for you. But they were fucked up in their turn By fools in old-style hats and coats, Who half the time were soppy-stern And half at one another’s throats. Man hands on misery to man. It deepens like a coastal shelf. Get out as early as you can, And don’t have any kids yourself. PHILIP LARKIN
  19. 12+1=13 Last Hero Math 6+1=7 Night's King or Stranger Math...
  20. Ooh, lucky them! Good that they are such 'highly decorated veterans'. You need all the help you can get, in possession of this terrible knowledge! I wish you good fortune in the wars to come.
  21. It also sets up a game among the readers, all vying with one another to 'crack the mystery,' aiming to be among the privileged few to figure it out first. This inevitably gives rise to anxiety that someone else may know something one hastn't quite gleaned. Hence the absurd popularity of this essentially vapid OP, claiming to know the mind of the author. Oh, you think GRRM plays fair, do you..? Sweet summer child... Well said. This is a metaphor for reading. Agreed. The particular example you referenced is reminiscent of GRRM's stated fondness for fulfilling prophecy in unexpected ways, blurring the spirit and the letter, giving the words an ironic twist. Indeed. We would do well to remember that instead of one elite person possessing The Top Secret, it is rather a case of We All Know Nothing! "I know words; I have the best words..." Which quote? It isn't appearing in your signature in my feed.
  22. @The Map Guy Some of us are not fooled by the Emperor's 'new clothes'. Put up or shut up.
  23. ravenous reader

    The Others and the Sidhe

    (In Irish mythology, the Milesians were the humans who became the final inhabitants of Ireland.) Underground or behind the Wall? And the Otherworld sounds a fit abode for the Others. Welcome to the forum, @Karlshammar. I'm not that active here anymore, as I mostly frequent twitteros; however, I still browse occasionally to see if anything grabs my interest, and really enjoying your thread, this being one of my favorite topics. The subterranean and by extension subaquatic realm -- or in other words, the 'chthonic,' as @sweetsunray has pointed out -- is represented in ASOIAF by the hollow hills and sea, respectively, (super)natural portals which figure prominently in Celtic myth. Have you read @Wizz-The-Smith's quintessential 'Hollow Hills' essay, in which he links these magic, otherworldly spaces to the Children of the Forest and human greenseers? As many have speculated, there is a likely connection between the COTF, greenseers and the Others, which is borne out by ample symbolic evidence, if not explicit proof. For example, the text repeatedly refers to the Others 'emerging from the trees', which might be a cryptic reference to their origins. Craster's sons as offerings? Not named directly - simply "The Others"? Or White Walkers? What is the purpose in having to refer to the Sidhe only indirectly, via evasive circumlocutions or euphemisms, instead of directly by name? Should this be interpreted as purely lyric convention in the tradition of Norse kennings, or does it also hint at a ritualized superstition, with the intention of not invoking the wrath of the gods? Interesting to contemplate the implications attending the observation that like the old gods, the Sidhe and Others are nameless! Consider my favorite example: Fits the Others to a tee. So why do I think they are engaged in defense? My current working hypothesis is that while the Others technically can't be considered human (hasn't GRRM referred to them as 'inhuman'?), they're nevertheless humanoid (i.e. magically transformed humans). The Others as weapons of the COTF/greenseers: Actually, I think the reverse may be true -- namely, the trees turning the greenseers to Others! The Others are greenseers. That's why they speak a dialect of the True Tongue: Compare to this classic passage: I maintain, the song of ice spoken by the Others is a dialect of the song of the earth sung by the Children. @Wizz-The-Smith has provided this excellent summary of the Sidhe's symbolic relations to ASOIAF:
  24. One might say, the regicide was the means to Littlefinger's ultimate end, of framing Sansa for regicide. He killed a king to capture a girl. He also takes pains to smugly spell out her predicament, and his part in it, to her on the boat. So much for her fabled 'agency'...
  25. ravenous reader

    Whose nameday falls first - Jon's or Robb's?

    Jon is older than Robb, as we should suspect after a big deal was made by the author of his wolf's eyes having opened first. Ghost is the alpha wolf.