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Blue-Eyed Wolf

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  1. Hey @M_Tootles! I just wanted to let you know that I'm just finishing up a crazy week and I'll be able to sit down and read everything at some point over the weekend.
  2. Hey @redriver If you want a condensed, organized version of this thread, it's in my essay linked in my signature. You are exactly right to notice the First Men / Old Gods connection on his sigil. Iron and bronze are metals associated with the First Men. The water and earth can apply to HR/SS's travels, but also Meera says her father could "change earth to water and water to earth with no more than a whispered word." When Jon speaks about his wolf with the same coloring, he says he belongs to the Old Gods. It's the distinct coloring of the weirwood faces. Furthermore, he says he is the Mad Mouse because the average mouse runs away from danger. He's a contradiction and not like others of his kind. Much like Meera says her father is bolder and braver than the average crannogmen who are shy and stay close to home. We've seen the contradictory weirwood sigil before with the Knight of the Laughing Tree. Weirwood faces don't laugh or smile. They're always depicted as pained or frightening in expression. Other than a mention of being at the Tower of Joy, the only story that features HR in the series is the story of the KotLT and the Harrenhal tourney. It's such an important piece of history that solidifies HR's loyalty and friendship to the Starks so loyal he would send his only children and heirs to help Bran after Ned dies. It makes sense that when HR enters the story, he will have references to that pivotal event.
  3. Blue-Eyed Wolf

    References and Homages

    Not sure if this has been mentioned before, but I think I found an early inspiration for the Hound and Braith Bretan of "The Dying of the Light." George has listed The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester (published 1957) as one of his favorite sci-fi novels in more than one post on his LJ. The main character, Gully Foyle, is consumed by a burning need for revenge that is his main motivator for his actions. In the course of the story, he is captured and his face is given this shockingly horrific bestial tattoo. His personality early on his described as brutish and blunt. Later in the process of removing the tattoo with acid he receives equally horrific scarring that flares up when he becomes emotional. Gully also tormented by visions of The Burning Man, which is himself on fire. Some very interesting cover art for the novel too.
  4. Blue-Eyed Wolf

    Harwin is the Hooded man

    I agree. I'm not 100% on this, but I feel Harwin is the top candidate for many of the reasons you stated. I really feel his motivation and mission is an Arya centric one, not a revenge murder mission. Harwin is already established in the story has having a personal connection to Arya, most importantly he's spent one-on-one face time with her. As you said, he's a character that has shown deep emotional attachment to the Starks. He's the one that pleaded to revive Catelyn. Not because he thought she'd turn into a revenge-driven revenant, but simply out of grief at her horrific fate and defilement of her body. It reminds me of the way Arya asked Thoros if he could revive her beheaded father. You noted that Harwin knows the layout of WF, which is important. But I think what gives Harwin an advantage over other candidates is that he can positively ID Arya. Also that Arya knows him and would trust him. We know that LSH and the BwB are actively looking for Arya. Before they hang Merritt Frey they ask him about the Hound having Arya. The Heddles and Gendry are stationed at the inn at the crossroads, one of Arya's last known sightings with the Hound. They're collecting orphans from the area so there's a hope that Arya will be found among them. So they are following up on leads and it makes sense they'd check out any lead they got. One of those leads would be the news that Roose is marrying his son to Arya. This is using some information from the ASOIAF timeline. We know from Jon VI, ADWD that Roose is announcing his son’s marriage to Arya in letters calling for the Northern vassals to swear fealty circa mid-April. So word of “Arya Stark” being in the North and her marriage to Ramsay Bolton is getting around and it would be big news. Brienne’s capture by the BwB happens in mid to late May where Harwin was present. Theon first meets the hooded man at the beginning of August. That’s enough time for even a single rider travelling at an average speed to get to WF from the Trident region (8-10ish weeks). So I don’t see how he can be ruled out based on time and distance. He may not have had the opportunity yet to get a good look at her since Jeyne has been confined and now she's left with Theon. It's going to be interesting to see what happens with the HM because we've now lost the POV inside the castle at least until Stannis retakes it. We may find that he's affected the plot somehow off page during this time.
  5. Blue-Eyed Wolf

    Re-reading Sansa's last chapter, ASOS

    @The Fattest Leech Thanks for the tag! I will will be following along!
  6. Blue-Eyed Wolf

    ASOIAF in everyday life... Gooble Gobble...

    I know right! There needs to be an app for this. Not a dating app. I just want to swipe right and hook up with someone to talk about ASOIAF ships or just the books in general.
  7. Blue-Eyed Wolf

    ASOIAF in everyday life... Gooble Gobble...

    So my coworker told me he was going on a date with this new guy and he was a big ASOIAF fan. I got a little too... invested in these two working out. Especially when he was showing me a text message that said he ships Sansan, Gendry x Arya, and Val x Jon. My coworker is only lowkey interested in the show and had to ask me who Val was. I admit I had no chill at that point. Seriously, I wanted to meet this guy! When they didn't really hit it off I was actually a bit sad about it.
  8. Blue-Eyed Wolf

    Dissecting Names

    I like all your interpretations! Especially with linking Asha to the ash tree, which is also linked to Yggdrasil. Much of the concept of a weirwood probably comes from Yggdrasil, an ash tree mixed with Celtic animism. Ash also fits well with the fire motif of the burning red leaves. It also connects her to her brother Theon, whose name means godly and who is now heavily connected to weirwoods in the later part of his story.
  9. Blue-Eyed Wolf

    Dissecting Names

    Fun topic to speculate on! We have multiple in universe variations on Garth names starting with Garth Greenhand, who is strongly tied to real world pagan concept of the greenman or green god. Characters with a garth type name tend to be related to the themes of the cycle of life, death, rebirth, fertility and sacrifice. Also movement between the worlds of life and death as he is a psychopomp. @LmL 's Mythical Astronomy of Ice and Fire goes into the significance of Garth names and IIRC does make a connection to the gar (fish) and spear. Lommy Greenhands comes to mind and he took a spear to the throat. I do remember he pointed out that a commonly used method for catching fish was called a weir or a fishgarth. I did have my guess on this one. Starting with Sansa. I don't think the meaning of the name itself is important. I think he just wanted a soft-sounding name that went with the character's personality. George does like to play around with couples with similar sounding names. Tyrion and Tysha, Elys and Alys, etc... What's important is the "dor." I linked some attributes of Sansa's story to some aspects of the Norse goddess Freya, which literally means "lady." Not all aspects, as Arya is also linked to Freya too. Freya possessed a falcon feather cloak that shape-shifts the wearer. Think of Sansa in disguise and protected under the falcon of Arryn. Freya's husband, Óðr, (also considered another version of Odin) is someone she is mostly separated from as he has left her to go on a long journey. She weeps tears of red gold for him. There's an obvious red connection to Sansa and weeping as Alyssa's tears pour from the Giant's Lance. The valley below the mountain is described as red and gold in autumn. as well. She choses to wear a ribbon of autumn gold, which mimics Clegane colors of the three dogs that died in the autumn yellow grass. It's the only time "autumn" is used to describe gold or yellow in the series. And we know Sansa wonders what became of Sandor and still feels a romantic/erotic connection to him. Freya has been accused of being lusty and promiscuous, usually by Loki who has some Littlefinger parallels. As Sansa is now the bastard Alayne, there's also the stigma of being born of lust and having loose sexual morals. As for Sandor's Odin / parallels, there's both dying on / against a tree to be reborn with wisdom and knowledge. Sandor is of course working through his issues on the QI. Odin is a warrior-poet type god who does sometimes have a cruel streak. They both have a special horse. So my guess is the origins and connection between the names might be Sansa = Lady = Freya, Odin/ Óðr = Freya's husband. Smoosh the names together. San + Odin/ Óðr = Sandor, Sansa's husband, given two cloaks already by him. AS for Gregor, I got a little guess too. Sandor also shares some parallels or a reverse image of Brynden Rivers aka Bloodraven. THere's half their faces marked: one with a port wine stain, the other burned. BR's hair is straight and white, Sandor's is straight and black. BR lost an eye due to his brother, Aegor Rivers, aka Bittersteel. Sandor's scarring was caused by his brother Gregor, aka the Mountain. The connection might not be a deep one but maybe George was recycling some of the similar ideas between brothers with a blood feud. Gregor/Aegor have some similar enough sounding names.
  10. Why the Burn of Glamor Magic Fits Sandor's Development Sandor's story doesn't start with a blessing of fire. More like a curse for what his brother did to him, the injustice of the cover up, and the consequences of rewarding such a pile of garbage. Sandor is left with severe PTSD compounded by the fact that he has largely had to keep his trauma buried inside for most of his life. His panic attacks come because he was never able/allowed to process his trauma at the time it occurred. Let's look at his story in relation to his anxiety being triggered and how it escalates. This is actually a good thing in a way, because exposure and revisiting the trauma to decrease its discomfort over time is a treatment for PTSD. From the U.S. Department of Veteran's Affairs and the National Center for PTSD on Prolonged Exposure Therapy: Just talking about the burning triggers a panic attack. Tested by Wildfire. Seeing Men Burning. Stannis is burning the kingswood, but it is Tyrion's plan to fight with wildfire. Sandor has been assigned to lead sorties on the shoreline where wildfire will be heaviest. To his credit, he did fight for hours in the battle, doing his duty. Stannis's men never broke through; however, after seeing too many men burning to death he finally broke. He proceeds to get extremely drunk, leaves the battle, is declared craven, and generally hits a downward spiral. Tested by the Lord of Light. Feeling the Fire. This time it's not just seeing other men getting burned by wildfire, it's being up close and personal with the magic fire in Beric's blood. Sandor does fight well enough to win (even not noticing the fire for a moment), but then as soon as it's over he regresses into his 6 year old self. On the ground, weeping and begging for help. I've already discussed most of the fight in the previous post, but there's two important features that stick out. "Painted dogs" are referenced on the shield and Sandor receives a pretty bad burn on the arm where the flesh melts off. Burning painted dogs. Burned Men and Painted Dogs are names of two related clans in the Mountains of the Moon and this points to... The Next Logical Step? Making Peace with Fire and Embracing It The Painted Dogs are an older clan that the Burned Men descend from. Thus the Burned Men: So from the Painted Dogs we have boys willingly risking themselves of being burned to bring gifts to the fire witch (i.e making peace with fire) which evolved into the Burned Men, willingly burning themselves to prove their courage (i.e. embracing fire). On a side note, as someone in the comments of the original essay pointed out, the African painted dog (also called a painted wolf) has a mottled coat of mostly black and yellow. They are native to savannas and grassland type areas where they hunt antelope. Their only major predators are lions. This might possibly be inspiration for House Clegane and the three dogs that died from a lion attack in the yellow grass.
  11. Sounds delicious! @The Weirwoods Eyes The Tourney Favor as a Weapon Now that I made enough notes (for now) on favors as sexual/romantic symbols, they also can be used like weapons that yield surprising results. For Jorah Mormont on how Lynesse's favor helped give him an extraordinary victory: Now I'm not talking literally, but it is like wearing a lady's favor makes a man feel like he's got super powers. He's a northman who's never been a tourney knight, but he's beating those Andals at their own games. Jorah is on fire, winning joust after joust. Just hold that thought about being "on fire" because I'm coming back to it. What's important here is the idea of infusing magical strength, speed, and skill to a warrior. Look at Brienne carrying Jaime's favor in the form of the sword itself, Oathkeeper. This is the first battle with it where she wields it against Timeon: And in her delirium after being wounded by Biter, she may as well call it Jaime's magic favor and she feels powerless without it: So we know early on, Sandor's opinion of favors is that they're merely window dressing for the murderous brutes that all knights really are (supposedly). The irony here is that we know how important taking a lady's favor can be, because it's power can turn the tide to victory for the wearer. Sandor isn't aware of it, but he did in fact receive a lady's "favor" at the Hand's tourney when Sansa touched his shoulder and gave him her compassion for sharing his story with her. She "knew the Hound would win" after all. It's funny he mentions looking fine in gold plate, because the only knight we see who wears all gold plate is Jaime. Everyone else wears basic steel or house colors. From the original essay I'm proposing that Sandor is in fact armored in gold. On the Quiet Isle, plain gray driftwood gets polished and transformed into beautiful golden furniture and cups. The golden blonde and beautiful Ser Byron is Sandor's armor and protection from being identified so he can move about freely. So there's irony with mocking the gold plate as much as mocking the lady's favor. Speaking of ribbons, Alayne Stone has a particularly fitting ribbon: When she cannot wear Stark or Tully colors, nor dress above a bastard's station, the color she chooses is autumn gold, which calls back to Sandor telling her the story of his house. The three dogs that died on the "autumn yellow" grass. And it makes her feel bold a brave. So if I were betting on what the favor in TWOW tourney is going to be, I'm putting my money on this autumn gold ribbon. Whoever receives it will also be armored in gold and will surely be the tourney victor after a startling performance. A favor is not just tied to metaphoric magic. The favor is also tied to the fire of the gods, real magic. After the Hound gives that speech about those silly pretty ribbons that don't mean anything to Beric Dondarrion, they have their trial by combat: The flaming sword that was imbued by Beric's magic blood is god-given. And a "cage of fire" also sounds like being armored in gold. Arya describes the streaming flames coming off the sword as being like "the ribbons the Hound had spoken of." The favor of the gods is literal magic. Of course, the Hound does end up winning his trial, signifying that the Lord of Light has at least found him not guilty. He's also kissed by the fire of Beric's magic sword: Kissed by fire. Sandor has the favor of the gods now. He also was burned badly on his arm even as he defeated Beric, so the Lord of Light doesn't find him totally innocent either. He got a slap on the wrist by a fire god It's one painted dog from Gregor's shield that loses his head and we know Gregor probably no longer has a head as Robert Strong. So Sandor has been healed by the mysterious healing methods of the Elder Brother and the QI. The Lord of Light has determined that Sandor shall live and he's been marked by him. And I propose the mage Howland Reed has used his Old Gods magic to protect him, to armor him in gold. That's the Old Gods, the Seven, and R'hllor that have favored him. Alayne's yellow ribbon tied to a sword would look very much like the fire streaming off Beric's sword. So why might this test / kiss of fire be important later? Clearly it's a test highly significant to a man that was traumatized by fire and burning. He needs to be able to endure the long term burn of a glamor spell. According to Mance: In his sleep the ruby can actually burn his skin through the iron fetter. Mance must only wear the glamor long enough to get out of Castle Black. Even after a short while he is almost mad to pry out the ruby, even though it would mean his certain death for being discovered. It must be a really hot stone! What's significant is that Mance describes it as a burning kiss. Glamor magic is being kissed by fire, but that blessing comes with a price. Melissandre questions for a moment the sparing of Mance for his complaining. The magic requires a strong will to endure the pain. For Sandor to be Byron 24/7 for months at the Gates of the Moon, it would require physical and mental endurance to pull it off. In the next post, I'll present the case that willingly burning himself is fitting with Sandor's story.
  12. I'm necromancing the thread! Just wanted to jot some more things down as per other conversations with folks who offered their observations and input here in PMs and on tumblr. I think they prove interesting and support the case as presented here in the main essay, which compiles neatly everything discussed in this thread plus a bit more. I will probably use some of these points in future expansion essays. It's gonna be a bit all over the place, but I'm still in the compiling phase. The Maid on the Road with her Drunken Fool / Knight courtesy of my tumblr friend maidenoftheforestlight: The red is my highlight. The general framework of the maid and the drunken fool/knight/outlaw on the road remains accurate throughout Brienne's journey, it's just that the identities of who is filling those roles keeps getting switched around. Most often it's a case of mistaken identity. Brienne first thinks she's chasing Sansa and Dontos, like everyone else. Then from Nimble Dick she thinks it's two girls with Dontos. The "fool" who Dick "fooled" was actually Shagwell, who dresses in motley. Then she learns from Timeon it's the Hound who is said to have turned outlaw that has the Stark girl, who she still believes is Sansa. Then she searches for the Hound (who is actually being impersonated by Rorge at this point), but when she gets to the QI she learns the maid was actually Arya and the Hound is "dead." The players keep changing but the basic elements remain the same: maid, fool/knight/outlaw, travelling together on the road...and the fact that she will not remain a maid long is repeated twice in the above. In the Vale, Marillion writes a song inspired by Alayne and calls her "Roadside Rose." Right before he is about to assault her, he learns she is a maid: Calling her a "rose" and of course, plucking a flower/rose = losing one's virginity. And fellow travellers on the road seem to agree that it's the drunken fool/knight that will do the deflowering. While Sansa hasn't been in the Riverlands, she has travelled with Lothor Brune, a Sandor stand-in and the one who saves her from Marillion's assault. She knows he harbor's a secret crush on Mya Stone, the bastard girl with noble/royal blood and she seems set up to play matchmaker. I'm not going to go into it here, but there's a triangle of several direct connections and parallels drawn between Lothor/Dontos/Sandor. The first mention of Sansa's favor which will be important later in TWOW comes from Myranda Royce in Alayne II, AFFC. This is the chapter that leads up to meeting the hedge knight team at the very end. Myranda is teasing but she's linking the favor and "ardent squire" to who Alayne is gonna give it up to, who she is saving herself for. The favor will be mentioned two more times in the sample: Aside from her "favor," sex and promises also relates to who Sansa will sing for. Florian and Jonquil is most importantly the song that is the one that Sansa suggested that she sing for Sandor when she naively thought he was speaking of a literal song. He mocks her for it, but it's the one he'll want to hear later at the BW. And he does remind her that she promised him a song and she assures him she will sing for him gladly. While she doesn't yet understand it refers to female orgasm yet, she surely does sense it is an intimate act to sing a romantic song to a man. So the readers don't have to figure out who Sansa's favor is already promised to at the tourney as she does. We've already been explicitly told many times over who is it she is saving it for / promised to. Let me just jump back to Florian and Jonquil, specifically the song Six Maids in a Pool. Maidenpool takes its name after the legend of Florian supposedly meets Jonquil while she's in said pool bathing with her sisters. From the original essay, Septon Meribald's Dog goes hunting in the low tidal pools around the QI and finds the hidden crab which is a moon/shellfish/feminine symbol. Where is Sansa at now? At the Gates of the Moon, the lowest level of the Arryn castles around the Giant's Lance. It's the low tidal pool where the crab is revealed as the maid Jonquil is revealed to Florian emerging from the water. ---- I know this is kinda all over the place but this part came from a conversations with @The Weirwoods Eyes who really put all the pieces together and then everything made sense. Sansa's Hawking with Margaery in the Kingswood Post-Blackwater: In this context, the two are discussing suitors and marriages. Margaery is telling Sansa about Willas, who she hopes Sansa will marry. Of course, Marg is being manipulative and the Tyrells only want Sansa for her claim. Sansa warns Marg about Joffrey, telling her that he will hurt her if they marry. Sansa is genuinely worried about Marg's safety here, but the readers could also give Sansa the same warning about who she is placing her trust in: Dontos. The pairings of birds is significant to the next part of Sansa’s journey. A peregrine is a type of falcon that takes the heron. A heron is a waterfowl that wades around stealthily and preys upon small fish. Littlefinger is attracted to Sansa’s Tully (fish) features and stealthily snatches her up out of KL making him the heron. At the Fingers, they are both picked up by the falcon, Lysa Arryn and carried back to the Eyrie. He's still a heron preying on fish as Lysa will face her demise by him. Sansa’s merlin is the smallest type of falcon, which is what LF’s plan tries to do: make her a falcon through marriage to HtH, who covets the Arryn identity on his quartered shield. Of course, she’s gone from the little bird (parrot in a cage), to a dove that takes flight, to now a tiny bird of prey as she matures and sharpens her skills. She's also acting as a surrogate mother bird to the little falcon, Sweetrobin. The merlin is connected to three ducks, so we need to look for the trio in Sansa’s Vale arc. There is only one trio that is grouped together consistently both in Alayne II and TWOW. The trio of “odd ducks." Short, wiry and fox-faced Ser Shadrich. Big, burly red-nosed Ser Morgarth. And tall, elegant, blonde Ser Byron. A motley crew if there ever was one. If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, must be a duck, right? Not necessarily! Petyr fully believes they are what they look like. Just some hungry hired swords looking for work. And the choice of “merlin” may be a tongue in cheek reference to Merlin, the wizard / mad man / prophet… or the Mad Mouse ;). Interesting parallels between Alayne's sample and Mercy: While it's not directly related to the hedge knights, it points to who will actually try to kidnap Sansa for the ransom and why they differ from Shadrich. I got more coming later for a full walk-through of Alayne II, because I it's really charged with hints about where things are going. The chapter ends on meeting the hedge knights as a trio for the first time, so everything leading up to that moment should tie into that. I touched on some of them in the main essay, but it got to be too much and it was going to get side tracked.
  13. Blue-Eyed Wolf

    Songs that Make Us Think of A Song of Ice and Fire

    This song is just giving me all kinds of ASOIAF feels. Not one thing in particular, but it's so beautiful and the lyrics capture some of the central themes. The existential crisis and the human heart at war with itself. Nature, nurture heaven and home Sum of all, and by them, driven To conquer every mountain shown But I've never crossed the river Braved the forests, braved the stone Braved the icy winds and fire Braved and beat them on my own Yet I'm helpless by the river Angel, angel, what have I done? I've faced the quakes, the wind, the fire I've conquered country, crown, and throne Why can't I cross this river? Angel, angel, what have I done? I've faced the quakes, the wind, the fire I've conquered country, crown, and throne Why can't I cross this river? Pay no mind to the battles you've won It'll take a lot more than rage and muscle Open your heart and hands, my son Or you'll never make it over the river It'll take a lot more than words and guns A whole lot more than riches and muscle The hands of the many must join as one And together we'll cross the river It'll take a lot more than words and guns A whole lot more than riches and muscle The hands of the many must join as one And together we'll cross the river (Nature, nurture heaven and home) It'll take a lot more than words and guns (Sum of all, and by them, driven) A whole lot more than riches and muscle (To conquer every mountain shown) The hands of the many must join as one And together we'll cross the river (Braved the forests, braved the stone) It'll take a lot more than words and guns (Braved the icy winds and fire) A whole lot more than riches and muscle (Braved and beat them on my own) The hands of the many must join as one And together we'll cross the river And together we'll cross the river And together we'll cross the river Nature, nurture heaven and home And together we'll cross the river And together we'll cross the river Nature, nurture heaven and home And together we'll cross the river And together we'll cross the river
  14. Blue-Eyed Wolf

    Rant and Rave without Repercussions [S7 Leaks Edition]

    I don't want to totally insult fanfiction, because some people write better characterizations and plots than the show. But this shit is pure fanfic nonsense. I guess Bronn (who I thought was already married to Lollys Stokeworth?) is now married to another younger, "bad pussy" of Oberyn's loins? Just shoving Tyrion together with any geographically close female I guess. And they have sex after a few lines of dialog of course.
  15. Blue-Eyed Wolf

    Rant and Rave without Repercussions [S7 Leaks Edition]

    That's true. I don't know about the show, but I hate for it to be someone that proves Cersei right. It proves she was right to hate Tyrion all along because she expects him to want to kill her. If it is St. Tyrion that offs her, it's going to be a fist-pumping yassssssss for a lot of viewers, of course. I think at this point she's angry at Jaime, but she thinks he's weak, stupid, and a push over even with his little rebellious moments. I don't think we saw she was truly alarmed that he might fully switch sides against her. He's just an unruly child that will always come to heel like he has many, many, many times in the past. hehe, that crack ship has me feeling two kinds of ways. I like Tormund (or maybe I just like Kristofer Hivju) and how much he admires everything about her. Everything that she's ever been criticized for, he thinks are the greatest, most beautiful traits ever. On the other hand, he's kinda creepin on her in a delusional way and she is obviously annoyed with him. Why shouldn't she just want Jaime? Why does she have to stay in her lane and settle? It makes sense that they'd do a death and resurrection again for Jon. Perhaps this time in front of a lot of other people so it can't be swept under the rug? The effects of his first resurrection have never been dealt with to the point we almost forget it happened. I doubt they'd resurrect anyone else but Jon since Beric pointed out this isn't a normal Lord of Light thing. It was some kind of miracle that happened to just them for some kind of purpose. But did they ever really explain Benjen? Maybe that's Jon's bittersweet end, to range beyond the Wall as kinda-sorta dead after the war is over. I get that impression from the books as a possibility, but I'm not sure about the show On another topic, my wildcard I would love to know about is Archmaester Marwyn. If they're gonna cast James Broadbent, please just do something with him. Marwyn the Mage from the books seemed a hell of a lot cooler and looks like he's off to do something important. The impression I got from the show that he was just another stodgy pencil-pusher at the Citadel.
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