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  1. Millimidget

    Why do book readers hate R+L=J?

    Copied from a post I made on Reddit.
  2. Millimidget

    Why do book readers hate R+L=J?

    Certainly that is only a part of the promise. Perhaps the price was higher for the lesser known parts of it. Could Lyanna have also requested the same of Ned, possibly verbatim or close to it? It's supportive of a different kind of RLJ; Robert + Lyanna = Jon. Perhaps part of the promise to Lyanna was to raise her son to be better than his father, Robert. If Robert is the father, his words would have an especially significant meaning for Ned, one which only he would be aware of. And there is other evidence to suggest Robert is the father. As much or more than there is for Rhaegar being the father.
  3. Millimidget

    Heresy 207 :skinchanging

    If you're looking for characters cut by the mummers, I have to ask, what did they ever do with Val? The only way I can wrap my head around Rhaegar + Lyanna = Jon is if Jon marries both Val and Dany.
  4. Millimidget

    Why do book readers hate R+L=J?

    A parallel would be a repetition of events. An inversion would maintain some of those events, but shuffle characters, motivations, and outcomes. I'm not a fan of inversion theories, but if there's suitable place in the story for one it's the two abductions at the Inn at the Crossroads. Lyanna only receiving blue roses from Rhaegar is about as plausible as Ashara Dayne being nailed to the floor of Starfall. AGoT Cat II Interestingly, the chapter also contains a whole discussion about Jon, with probably as much or more lines devoted to it as the rest of the Stark children combined. And it's home to Ned's mid-life "it was all meant for Brandon" crisis, with it's unspoken undertones suggesting Jon was Brandon's as well. I'm not entirely sure, but Ned explicitly attributes her fear to her burial. AGOT Ned I I don't see Ned Stark as the kind of guy who is likely to bend tradition, let alone break it, and certainly not at all for his own emotional satisfaction. I can only see Brandon and Lyanna's statues as an element of Ned's promise to Lyanna. Why she was so fixated on it, I can't say. but it's right there in the cannon, and with presumably greater accuracy than the elements seen in Ned's fever dream. Interestingly, the chapter order goes Ned I, with Ned connecting Lyanna to Brandon, Jon I with the feast at Winterfell and Tryion's observation that Jon has a double dose of the north in him, and then Cat II, with the shadows of Brandon and Jon Snow's mother lying between Ned and Cat. After that comes Arya I, with our first scene between Jon and Arya (see the '93 letter), followed up by Bran II, with actual incest, then Tyrion I where we see the full Lannister family in Incest On Parade, and Jon II, with Jon and Arya saying goodbye. And before Ned I we get Danaerys I, which introduces us to the idea of incest and incestual lineages in a more acceptable context. To be honest, George is laying it on thick. The statues allow George to continue trotting out the relationship repeatedly and without the crutch of a vision or the Weirnet. The only people likely to "see" Rhaegar at this point are Danaerys in a vision, or Bran through the Weirnet. Maybe Mel, but we can take odds on how likely she is to misidentify what she's seeing in the flames. These POVs are all limited in their scope, whereas B+L shows up every single time a POV enters the Winterfell crypts, and any POV can enlighten us, whether it's cripple boy Bran or Lustin' Dustin.
  5. Millimidget

    Why do book readers hate R+L=J?

    I see Lyanna's "abduction" by Rhaegar as an inversion of Tyrion's by Cat. Both were an action of opportunity, rather than one of planning. Rhaegar foolishly thought he could save the realm by securing Lyanna from Aerys, and was unable to release her to the Starks before his death. Cat foolish didn't think that kidnapping Tyrion could provoke a war, and ultimately released him to his own freedom. I don't really like inversion theories, so I would need to see more before I would be satisfied by it, but it's a start. I just don't see much evidence for R+L=J; most of the evidence rests on associations between Jon and kings or kingship, but that is as easily a reference to his lineage as a King of Winter, or possibly even to some as yet unspecified lineage. But between the double dose of northern in Jon, the way George plays with connections between Jon's northern looks and his parents, and the ghost of Brandon and Jon snow's mother lying in bed between Cat and Ned, I'm reasonably convinced that B+L=J. The statues are one half of Ned's promise to Lyanna, the other half being a promise to introduce Jon to his parents (which HBO went out of their way to add a scene to convey, probably at Martin's direction).
  6. Millimidget

    Heresy 207 :skinchanging

    After reading a bit of this source I found for you, you need look no further than the Old Testament (ie Judaism). I have to say, it was an awful search to perform, as google was disturbingly fixated on pushing results linking various Christian denominations to slavery, with over 95% of the 160 results I went through focused on that topic. But, the source I link pretty much nails what you are looking for, and does so in a larger context than you expected. Not only does the Torah contain your example of a priestly class which is enslaved to the divine, they're enslaved explicitly as a replacement offering for first born sons and first born animals. If I have it correct, the agreement to provide the first born as an offering to the Lord comes at the beginning of Exodus Chapter 13, just as the Israelites exit Egypt. This agreement is later modified, in Exodus Chapter 32 (or thereabouts), following the worshipping of the golden calf. The priestly class had remained faithful, and as such were considered pure enough to serve as payment in lieu of the first born. Further, this "payment" was not a onetime event, but a recurring payment every generation. It was actually a package deal, consisting of the priestly class, their animals, and a small monetary compensation to offset the difference between the number of first born exchanged for the number of priests. It is literally described as a ransom. Numbers Chapter 3 apparently describes the first such exchange, while Numbers Chapter 18 confirms that it was a recurring payment each generation.
  7. Millimidget

    Heresy 207 :skinchanging

    Thank you for your kind words. I agree, if the branch was visible when the Watch still manned the Nightfort, it would have been removed. Clearly, the Watch had already forgotten much by the time of Jaehaerys' and Alyssane's visit. I took a moment to research a bit into the silver maple you mentioned. It's an interesting tree, and I especially like that it is known to be a "vigorous resprouter," as such a trait could explain why so many weirwoods were still available to be cut down around the time of Aegon's conquest. Still, so many characteristics of the silver maple seem alien to George's weirwoods. They're fast growing, do well (enough) in an urban environment, produce brittle wood, and only live about a century, their 80-130 year average lifespan being an interesting (and no doubt coincidental) parallel to the intervals between Mance and Raymund Redbeard, and between Redbeard and where I believe Bael fits into the timeline. Weirwoods as gateways or portals is certainly an interesting concept, and one which I'm sure this board will (re-)explore at some point. Your last sentence has produced a very intriguing image for me. If Bran and the face in the Nightfort weirwood are connected in the sense that Bran is the face, seeing the desperate branch before seeing the face of the weirwood (a proxy for the full grown weirwood) parallels witnessing the lifecycle of the Nightfort tree. It wouldn't be possible (for Bran) to see the Nightfort weirwood as a sapling (outside of a greenvision), and so this twisted little branch serves as a stand-in. Certainly an interesting connection. Is that to say that the Grey King is symbolic of Azor Ahai forging Lightbringer by quenching it in the heart of Nissa Nissa? Or maybe the stories of Azor Ahai and Night's King are symbolic of the Grey King? Night's King embodies ice; Azor Ahai embodies fire; the Grey King embodies both fire and ice, and was apparently a powerful greenseer to boot as based on the 1,000 year lifespan. As for the Ironborn, I see them as Essosian sailors who brought a military force to Westeros to win the Battle for the Dawn and end the Long Night. I can't recall their having any traditions regarding the Long Night, which could be indicative that they experienced it in a very different way from the masses. They certainly don't seem to be connected to the "First Men," nor do they seem to be Andals. They may have some connection with the Rhoynar, and this could be a possible origin for them; the departure of a significant number of surviving Rhoynar males would leave an opening for a matriarchal society. Their social structure is embodied in few places, most notably the Wall. They adhere to a duotheistic religion, and there's reason to believe Westeros' duotheistic religions originated in Essos. And, for a people who spend much of their life at sea on wooden vessels, they have a surprising amount of fire imagery connected to them.
  8. Millimidget

    Heresy 207 :skinchanging

    By connected, I mean some of the ideas I've read which suggest they're physically connected, at the least by a sizeable root system, with some of the more extreme suggesting it was a branch from the tree at Whitetree. I agree that there's a possible metaphysical connection between the weirwoods, but I'm skeptical that it would be a physical connection. The distances involved seem too great for what appears to be a slow growing, uncommon tree. I did a double take when I read the date on your "recent" example, until I noticed the year on it. I'll need to read through that thread when I get a chance, and see where it took you.
  9. Millimidget

    Heresy 207 :skinchanging

    That's an interesting theory, and one worth exploring. Certainly, I think AA, or the Last Hero, or any of the other figures who fill that role, was a greenseer, may have been involved in some form of reanimation, and may very well have been an undead greenseer. I also have some suspicions about greenseers warging other greenseers (or at least greenseers warging wargs), and suspect that may describe how the Others operate on some level. Personally, I think too much greenseer blood was sacrificed to create the Three-Eyed Crow entity/conciousness. There simply wasn't/isn't enough left to man a Watch composed of undead greenseers. And beyond that, it appears the Night's Watch was intimately involved in some sort of scheme to transport bastard born children (likely carrying the holy blood line) north of the Wall for sacrifice. I have another theory that this may have been their original purpose; to maintain the holy blood line (ie the greenseer gene/genes), as a gardener might maintain a plant. Ensure that the blood line remains intact, while pruning any superfluous offshoots. I can think of several reasons why they might engage in either the former or the latter, but one reason shared equally by both objectives is to "guard the realms of men." This leads me to an image in my head of the Night's Watch guarding the walls of every (major) castle in Westeros, like a militant version of the maesters, watching primarily for people trying to sneak away with bastard born children. Certainly, an agreement (maybe the Pact, maybe another) which included the provision of bastard born children would be a strong motivator to develop and/or adopt jus prima noctis. And consequently, any push to ban the practice would indicate both a break from traditional practices, as well as an answer to one of the overarching questions of ASOIAF, why now? As in, why are the Others becoming (significantly) more active now. More broadly, what happened to uppend an apparent balance which it seems lasted for thousands of years. The answer is not going to be so obviously simple as Good Queen Alyssane happened, but the visit to the Wall (with dragons, no less), and the push to ban jus prima noctis, both stand out to me as red flags. The visit itself seems in some way connected to Bael the Bard, whose exploits likely took place during the reign of Jaehearys I. We're also supplied with some indication that this is a possible moment when the Night's Watch changed its vows to include the additional statements about not marrying, fathering children, holding land, etc. At the very least, there's something off about Snowgate being renamed Queensgate, when the Queen paid for the construction of Deep Lake. Typically, the structure whose construction is funded by a singularly noteworthy donor is the one named after that donor; I can't say I've heard of so generous a gift being met so poorly. It suggests to me that the primary motivator for the name change may have been the commander of Snowgate, or Alyssane herself; either way, there's a connection between the renaming and the Snow in Snowgate. I also have to wonder why there was a fairly sizeable gap between the Nightfort and Snowgate, when all the other fortifications seem to be built at roughly even intervals of distance. The gap was so sizeable that they could drop Deep Lake in roughly equidistant from the two nearest fortifications, and it seems to fit right in as though it had always existed there. On some level, it makes me wonder if there wasn't an earlier fortification at the site of Deep Lake. I would need to track down the quote, but in one of the books, Sam tells us that 600 years prior, the commanders of the Nightfort and Snowgate declared war on eachother (edit: actually, I think it's two books, as I think this story is part of the infamous 'list of Lord Commanders' speech we read twice). His story continues, with the Lord Commander of the Night's Watch stepping in to settle the agreement. We can immediately conclude that as far back as 600 years ago, the Night's Watch had already moved its headquarters from the Nightfort to Castle Black. This indicates that the secret at the heart of the Night's Watch, namely whatever the story is regarding the full weirwood tree they built the Nightfort over, had already been forgotten. This is why I say above that "the answer is not going to be so obviously simple as Good Queen Alyssane happened." The traditions had already been forgotten by the time Alyssane visited the Wall, and indeed were probably forgotten or abandoned in bits and pieces over centuries. Alyssane merely enacted a rule change which undermined any (un)official return to a practice that may very well have been all that was keeping the peace between the Others and the rest of the world. We can also conclude that the Lord Commander during this conflict 600 years ago was likely an Andal, as the story concludes with the commanders of the Nightfort and Snowgate joining to assassinate the Lord Commander. That sounds to me like some Northerners getting into a brawl, and only ending their fight when an outsider presented himself as both an obstacle and target. I know this is a long post already, but there were two more thoughts I want to get out there before I promptly end it. Yes, I adhere to a literal interpretation of Bran's impaled dreamer vision. As a real location/object, it works equally well as the literary device most fans restrict it to being. Further, there's no evidence in the description of the impaled dreamers to suggest it's not real; namely, they're not impaled shadows. This is important, as George gives us the description of "visionary" figures, ie the shadows Bran sees earlier in this same dream, as well as the shadows Dany sees in the ritual tent. Further, we have good reason to doubt that failed dreamers are impaled, literally or metaphorically, as we see no evidence of such with Euron, who seems to be a failed candidate. He is neither dead (as far as we know), nor does his third eye seem permanently locked. Finally, and I don't mean this to be offensive to anyone who does support the following theory, it's extremely unlikely the weirwood underneath the Nightfort (really, the weirwood the Nightfort was built on top of) is connected to the weirwood at Whitetree. First, if I recall correctly, Whitetree has moved, from north of the Nightfort in earlier books, to north of Deep Lake in more recent maps I've seen. Beyond that, George's description is plainly of a buried tree; specifically, what is confused for its trunk is merely a branch, hence it being thin, twisted, and reaching. This description, to me, is so obviously of a buried tree I'm somewhat amazed that no ASOIAF theory I've read has correctly identified it as such. Also, I don't see why anyone would want to devalue the Nightfort by making it an extension of Whitetree. If anything, I feel Whitetree is meant to serve as our mental template for the tree underneath the Nightfort. If the tree at Whitetree is large and monsterous, the tree beneath the Nightfort is likely that much further beyond the Whitetree as the Whitetree is to other weirwoods. In fact, the Nightfort tree is so wild and crazy, it even has an interactive face (edit: in re-reading this, I have to wonder if that's Bran's face in the Nightfort tree; it would certainly add tremendous significance to the image of the baptismal tear shed by the tree, even if the "tear" is indicative of the presence of salt water in the Wall). I know I said only two more, but I thought of a third; if the Pact was thousands of years ago, and the Children fled north of the Wall thousands of years ago, and mankind cut down all the weirwoods south of the Neck thousands of years ago, where did Harren find numerous weirwoods to chop down and use for the construction of Harrenhal? And, why would he leave the closest weirwood standing? Even if my last assumption is incorrect, that mankind cut down all weirwoods south of the Neck thousands of years ago,I have difficulty reconciling that so many weirwoods were still standing. And, am I the only one seeing parallels between the desecration of numerous weirwoods which it seems prompted the Pact, the construction of Harrenhal which required the desecration of numerous weirwoods, the rise of Night's King ~100 years after the formation of the Watch, and Alyssane's visit to the Wall, which resulted in a doubling of the Night's Watch's lands ~100 years after Aegon's Conquest. It has been discussed on this sub-forum that the Age of Heroes, the Long Night, etc., all happened much more recently than the ubiquitous 10,000 years ago, 8,000 years ago, or "thousands and thousands" of years ago. I'm personally looking at a Long Night which took place ~5,000 years ago, and I'm even open to a further condensed timeline, but on some level I keep coming back to the idea that 200-300 years is easily enough time for a society to have forgotten something important, and even something as important as the details of Long Night and its resolution, assuming a society even had those answers in the first place. This isn't actually consistent with George's references to a written history dating back thousands of years, but outside of Sam's "600 years ago" story, I can't say I've seen much which is even that accurately dated. During what, Sam? You were obviously going to connect that list to a specific period in history (correctly or incorrectly). If the list represents something like 5,000-5,500 years, what was going on that Sam could attribute it to "during...." Well, beyond the obvious, like the rise of Valyria and its dragons, the fall of (Old) Ghis and its harpies, and the possible origin of the AAR prophecy.
  10. Millimidget

    Weird dragon logistics

    I think you're forgetting that dragons have three heads; the (human) soul which was used to fertilize the egg, the dragonrider, and a skinchanger.
  11. Millimidget

    (SPOILERS) Criticise Without Reprecussion

    I prefer the Legend of Billie Jean