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GloubieBoulga

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  1. GloubieBoulga

    Who is the 3EC?

    Perhaps GRRM has already given us the answer about the 3EC : The crow opened its beak and cawed at him, a shrill scream of fear, and the grey mists shuddered and swirled around him and ripped away like a veil, and he saw that the crow was really a woman, a serving woman with long black hair, and he knew her from somewhere, from Winterfell, yes, that was it, he remembered her now, and then he realized that he was in Winterfell, in a bed high in some chilly tower room, and the black-haired woman dropped a basin of water to shatter on the floor and ran down the steps, shouting, "He's awake, he's awake, he's awake." (Bran III, AGOT)
  2. GloubieBoulga

    The first chapter mystery

    The answer is in ADWD, Jon X or XI, when he speaks with Tormund : Tormund explains the death of one of his sons, and how during some very cold nights the fires are dying and how they oft find people dead, with blue eyes. Nobody has seen the Others, but they tell about "cold mist". And in ASOS, the Other killed by Samwell turns into mist.
  3. GloubieBoulga

    Looking North: What did Bran see?

    The sentence makes me think to the dragonfire burning and melting the eyes of the burnt people. I doubt Bran will go out of his cave/grave and meet with a dragon, but he could be inside a weirwood when a dragon burns it. A dragon burning the heart of winter, like Drogon once burnt the blue heart of the Undyings.
  4. GloubieBoulga

    It's like poetry, it rhymes

    Thanks for reading this. I didn't know the Mark Twain's stuff and totally missed the number 44, but I observed same litterar phenomenon as you and called it "theme and variations", and we, readers, have to find the "original theme" throw the endless variations, an "original theme" which has no end or which has not the true end he should have had, long time ago in Westeros' history.
  5. GloubieBoulga

    There must Always be a Stark at Winterfell

    Perhaps the answer is more simple than we imagine : because without a Stark, Winter is coming. ^^ In the serie, we can observe that autumn and then winter are arriving after Stark's departure : Eddard with the girls in AGOT and autumn begins slowly. Then Robb leaves too, and to finish Bran and Rickon. When Theon comes back with the Bolton, winter is at Winterfell, and becomes the center of a huge snowy tempest. Coming back in the past, we can also observe that the long summer arrived when Ned and Catelyn had children at Winterfell = when the number of Starks was growing. Before that, there was winter, when Benjen remained the only Stark at Winterfell, during the war against Mad Aerys. Spring seemed to arrive when Brandon briefly came back to Winterfell after his journey with the Ryswell, and so on...
  6. And also with Jon non executing Ygritte. So it could happen a third time. Just one question : why Bran couldn't be the one "executed" and looking in the eyes his executioner ?
  7. GloubieBoulga

    [Spoilers] Shadow (baby) warriors and Syrax

    It's an interesting possibility, according to what Melisandre says about shadows (and she knows some little things about them !) : "Every man who walks the earth casts a shadow on the world. Some are thin and weak, others long and dark. You should look behind you, Lord Snow. The moon has kissed you and etched your shadow upon the ice twenty feet tall." (Jon VI, ADWD) and : She was stronger at the Wall, stronger even than in Asshai. Her every word and gesture was more potent, and she could do things that she had never done before. Such shadows as I bring forth here will be terrible, and no creature of the dark will stand before them.(Melisandre, ADWD)
  8. And here's the proof : "The mountain is your mother," Stonesnake had told him during an easier climb a few days past. "Cling to her, press your face up against her teats, and she won't drop you." Jon had made a joke of it, saying how he'd always wondered who his mother was, but never thought to find her in the Frostfangs. (ACOK, Jon VI)
  9. GloubieBoulga

    The aftermath of Others invasion

    For what we can read during 5 books, for the moment, lords and houses are just the first contributors to their own extinction. Making war each other, they don't need Others at all. Plus, knowing how GRRM likes to put down some litterature's cliche, we could bet that there will never be an Other's invasion : at the end of ADWD, a very hard winter is already on Winterfell, and the snow arrives in the south (Riverlands, King's Landing...), though the Others didn't pass the Wall, so...
  10. While beginning to read, I thought the "time for wolves" was announcing a kind of revenge for the Stark. But later, you have the story of the winged-wolf prisoner of the stone (in Winterfell), so time of wolf could also represent a new freedom for wolves. The "dream of spring" for me is a focus on the "dreamer" - the greenseer - trapped in his tree's roots, who will never see the sun again and is condemned to dream the life. So imo, the reader and some (many ?) characters will see the spring, but the greenseers won't.
  11. GloubieBoulga

    End game predictions for all the characters?

    Mmh Bran : killed in his tree by Jon and Daenerys (Daenerys with Drogon burning the heart tree of Wonterfell, and Jon with a dagger in the heart as the "gift of mercy") Jon : traumatized, he will walk in the land and his corpse will be found with the dagger in the hand when the spring will be there. Daenerys : burnt and eat by Drogon (in fact Arya will imitate what Jaqen did with Weese and his dog at Harrenhal). But maybe people won't believe it and think that she and her dragon are gone, like they did in Meereen. They will wait for their return... one day. Possibly, the ambiguity will remain also for the reader. Arya : the last name she will receive as a Faceless woman will be "Arya Stark". So, she will kill Arya Stark and live herself under a new identity. I pass for the choice of this new identity, queen of a kingdom (like Nymeria) or queen of an inn marrying a smith, possibilities are large. Vicatrion : killed by Euron. In fact, Euron will take his body, after he took his wife and his glory. So Euron will have a second life in Victarion's body. Victarion/Euron : killed by Arya. The man who wants to surpass the gods killed by a servant of the Manyfaced. How ? A last fly and a fall, of course. The mouse killing the giant. Sansa : Changes her name definitely. Like Arya, she can survive as queen of a kingdom or mistress of an orphan's inn married to a certain smith who will love her for who and what she is and not for her possession. Another possibility is to marry again Tyrion, this time a true marriage. Tyrion : I imagine he will survive, but I see for the moment to many issues to chose one against the others. Stannis, Melisandre, Shireen, Selyse : they will all die at Fort Night, and that will be the definitive fall of the Wall. Robert Strong : killed by Brienne, when Jaime will kill Cersei (the couple Brienne/Jaime against the couple Robert Strong/Cersei), so no Cleganebowl for me ! Brienne : she will survive, but for what ? That could be funny if she marry Tyrion and have a lot of children at the end. Or lady commander of the new Kingsguard. Or both in the same time, just to cut down a bit more taboo ! Jaime : I don't know. I don't see him living after Cersei's death. So, dead or some old hedge knight. Davos : I only hope he will survive (but I hope ot above all for his sons, especially Devan)... though I can't decide one or another issue Jorah Mormont : he is a father bear for Daenerys, and father bear are made to die one day (Ned, Jeor, for example), so I don't expect that he will survive. I fear something very sad. The Martell : ouch. I imagine a true tragedy for all of them, dying one by one (even if Arianne could really reach the IT at one moment), and Doran the last, killed by Areo or Ellaria Sand (or his wife Melario) or lift alone with his sickness. Sarella seems to be the only one with some chance of survival because she doesn't take part to Doran's plans. Myrcella : a silent sister ? Rickon : if he is lucky, he will survive, but under another name, not as Rickon Stark. Illyrio : will offer his life to the HOBAW, to pay Dany's assassination. Dolourous Edd : ok, this one predicted his own death : the very last of the Night's watchers
  12. GloubieBoulga

    TURNING POINT?? - A song of ice and fire

    Also for me, that was the fall of Winterfell by Ramsay - it was the very biggest surprise I had during my first reading - and following that, the disaster of the Mormont's expedition beyond the Wall. I found there the same tragic way that I had found in Silmarillion.
  13. GloubieBoulga

    Wake Dragons From Stone = Sword in the Stone

    Yes, mounting a dragon, but for that, he needs a free and alive dragon. And we can't be sure that Rhaegal or Viserion both will survive or be free when Jon will meet Dany (if they have a real meeting one day).
  14. Jon predicted his own death, I fear, mocking Arya (Arya I, AGOT): When the spring thaw comes, they will find your body with a needle still locked tight between your frozen fingers.
  15. GloubieBoulga

    Re-reading Sansa's last chapter, ASOS

    II. A DANCE WITH SUITORS 4- "Maiden and Monsters" This is the last part of the snow castle's analysis, regarding its destruction. This one is a bit longer than the others but also clearer regarding the internal parallelisms : it's not possible to be exhaustive, so I chosed 3 of them. "Maiden and Monsters" is one of the other games played by the children of Westeros, like "come into my castle". We have a glimpse of it in a chapter of Davos, in ASOS, and it seems that the game consists of a chase between a "princess", a "monster" and a "saving prince". The rules are not described by GRRM, but the theme does not come out of the "real" stories, those told in the saga. In this case, with his doll depicting a giant who wants to enter the castle, Robert symbolically mixes the two games - M&M and Come into my Castle - with a bit tragic success : "It's not so great." The boy knelt before the gatehouse. "Look, here comes a giant to knock it down." He stood his doll in the snow and moved it jerkily. "Tromp tromp I'm a giant, I'm a giant," he chanted. "Ho ho ho, open your gates or I'll mash them and smash them." Swinging the doll by the legs, he knocked the top off one gatehouse tower and then the other. It was more than Sansa could stand. "Robert, stop that." Instead he swung the doll again, and a foot of wall exploded. She grabbed for his hand but she caught the doll instead. There was a loud ripping sound as the thin cloth tore. Suddenly she had the doll's head, Robert had the legs and body, and the rag-and-sawdust stuffing was spilling in the snow. Lord Robert's mouth trembled. "You killlllllllled him," he wailed. Then he began to shake. So here is the giant in action: he is the one who comes to free the princess from her frozen hell, the hand of the prince literally promised, since this prince must also marry the imprisoned Snow White. However, we will notice that the princess does not seem delighted, and for good reason : she is suffering the rape of her future husband. Robert's gesture with his phallus puppet is the counterpart of Littlefinger's, who previously subtly introduced (it remained a symbolic rape by the absence of explicit consent), and the metaphor is already present during Sansa's marriage with Tyrion: "I am," the Imp confessed, "but not so drunk that I cannot wait to my own bedding." He hopped down from the dais and grabbed Sansa roughly. "Come, wife, time to smash your portcullis. I want to play come-into-the-castle." (Sansa III, A Storm of Swords) However, the "giant dwarf" Tyrion had not followed his promise once alone with Sansa, assuming a protective rather than a destructive part. Indeed, he japed to escape the "ceremony" of bedtime, king Joffrey explicitly intending to take advantage of it to rape Sansa; and at the same time Tyrion escape the vindictiveness of the little king whom he had just threatened to castrate following his humiliating words and gestures for the bride (I won't come back to castration's theme, just note that princess Sansa is surrounded by castrated "princes" and "knights", and that she is the direct or indirect cause of the castration; her words cut). It is also amusing to note that if legends attributes the building of the real Winterfell to giants, it is a giant that comes to demolish it. This destructive giant is a picture that appears several times in the saga, and I will focus on three of them in particular, because they contain the same roles, but dispatched differently, despite a similar challenge, namely a crown (and a princess, of course) : - a) The giants at the Wall First there is the giant Wun Wun who had crossed the Wall and been commissioned by Jon Snow to protect Val, the "wildling princess", whom Stannis wanted to marry to the next suzerain of the North, in order to seal the alliance with the Wildlings. To conquer his crown, Stannis did the same thing in the North as the Lannisters : he needed a castle, a marriage, and the "foundation" of a strong lordly dynasty. The castle Stannis is targeting is Winterfell. While he was working to win it back, he entrusted the promised princess to the custody of Jon Snow, Lord Commander of the Night's Watch, the "jail-crow". And Val is housed in a tower, guarded by a giant, like the princess of a tale. Val seems to be attracted to Jon, who is not only a crow, but also a bastard wolf, and when she returns to be a prisoner after finding Tormund, she is dressed in a white bear skin with a weirwood's brooch, and accompanied by Ghost, Jon's direwolf. Here is our bear princess wanting her bastard-wolf. A bastard-wolf prisoner of a raven (by studying the confrontation between Lysa and Sansa, we'll see the "raven queen", out from Snow White's tale) From above came the sudden sound of wings. Mormont's raven flapped from a limb of an old oak to perch upon Jon's saddle. "Corn," it cried. "Corn, corn, corn." "Did you follow me as well?" Jon reached to shoo the bird away but ended up stroking its feathers. The raven cocked its eye at him. "Snow," it muttered, bobbing its head knowingly. Then Ghost emerged from between two trees, with Val beside him. They look as though they belong together. Val was clad all in white; white woolen breeches tucked into high boots of bleached white leather, white bearskin cloak pinned at the shoulder with a carved weirwood face, white tunic with bone fastenings. Her breath was white as well … but her eyes were blue, her long braid the color of dark honey, her cheeks flushed red from the cold. It had been a long while since Jon Snow had seen a sight so lovely. (Jon XI, ADWD) Jon notices his blue eyes and red cheeks. We find exactly the same themes and characters-types as in the snow-castle's scene, but dispatched over Jon's entire narrative arc: the castle to be (re)built (theme multiplied by Jon's concern to restore and replenish all the "castles" along the Wall), the bear princess who wants her bastard wolf, both being prisoners of a crow (for Jon, this is his oath), the colours of the weirwoods and those of the Others, and finally a "savior" and a giant whose roles are reversed, since the "savior" is in reality a predator, and the giant a defender... at least according to Jon's point of view (let's bet that ser Patrek was considering Jon as a predator and a cruel jailer). Indeed, at the end of ADWD, the knight Ser Patrek probably tried to penetrate the princess' tower, and when Jon arrives on the scene, the giant holds Ser Patrek by one leg and smashes his head against the walls of the tower, as if he was holding a doll, let's read the text: The screaming had stopped by the time they came to Hardin's Tower, but Wun Weg Wun Dar Wun was still roaring. The giant was dangling a bloody corpse by one leg, the same way Arya used to dangle her doll when she was small, swinging it like a morningstar when menaced by vegetables. Arya never tore her dolls to pieces, though. The dead man's sword arm was yards away, the snow beneath it turning red. (Jon XIII, ADWD) Two little remarks : 1/Val is in Hardin's tower and Alayne Stone will be betrothed by LF to Harrold Hardyng (with the "hard-" synonym of "strong", surely the wordplay was already noticed). 2/Ser Patrek is "swinging like a morningstar" and he wears a star on his coat of arms : with the "bleeding star" we could say he is a "prince promised" sacrificed, one of those knights trying to deliver the princess (like those who try to keep excalibur from the stone) and failing. Note that ser Patrek lost his sword arm. This scene also takes place when Jon has decided to break his vows and help another princess trapped in a tower (in Winterfell), his sister Arya Stark - in reality the poor Jeyne Poole, Sansa's former childhood friend, who was forced to take Arya's identity to wed the "beast in human skin" Ramsay Bolton. In other words, the fight between the "bastard wolf"(the one from the pack) and the "crow" (the Night's Watcher) also takes place inside Jon : by breaking his vows, the wolf has freed himself from the crow to gallop rescuing his princess, and was murdered by some of his sworn brothers. For the added detail, Bowen Marsh, one of the main conspirators, is nicknamed "the Old Pomegranate" because of his always red face, a small nod to Snow White's apple. For irony, the conspirators could have killed the "crow's part" when they intended to kill the "wolf's part", but we quit Snow White's theme, so I won't explore it here. Back to Wun Wun's scene, it imitate Tyrion protecting with his words Sansa from Joffrey's assaults, and in the same time Sweet Robin breaking down Winterfell's gates, while Jon/Snow White imitates Sansa trying to stop him. Note that in ASOS, Jon and his sworn brothers are fighting wildlings and giants who try to pass the Wall. After the first battle, Jon is sent to Mance to kill him (or be killed by Mance) and he looks at the battlefield : There were other corpses too, strewn amidst broken barrels, hardened pitch, and patches of burnt grass, all shadowed by the Wall. Jon had no wish to linger here. He started walking toward the wildling camp, past the body of a dead giant whose head had been crushed by a stone. A raven was pulling out bits of brain from the giant's shattered skull. It looked up as he walked by. "Snow," it screamed at him. "Snow, snow." Then it opened its wings and flew away. (Jon XI, ASOS) Here is another giant with crushed head, like Sweet Robin's doll. He died trying to smash the gates of the Wall. There is also an eating and speaking raven (yes, we will explore the raven queen theme with Lysa !). Jon being the Lord Commander of the Night Watch - his head -, we could also see the Watch as Snow White buried in his coffin-Wall (the oath and the cloak are symbols of marriage in the saga, and the sworn brothers literally marry the "spirit of the crow" by taking their vows and a black cloak), who rips off the "giant's" head by killing Jon, repeating Jeor Mormont's murder beyond the Wall. And we are lucky with the metaphor, appearing that at one moment Melisandre shows to Jon the giant shadow he casts on the Wall, in the light of the moon : "Every man who walks the earth casts a shadow on the world. Some are thin and weak, others long and dark. You should look behind you, Lord Snow. The moon has kissed you and etched your shadow upon the ice twenty feet tall." Jon glanced over his shoulder. The shadow was there, just as she had said, etched in moonlight against the Wall. A girl in grey on a dying horse, he thought. Coming here, to you. Arya. (Jon VI, ADWD) The kiss of the Moon Maid changes the men into giants who defend her. But who is the Moon Maid ? Is she really Snow White or is she a young raven queen ? To resume the symbollic the Night's Watch represents the dead princess, her dead bastard and the jailer's crow, where the Wall is the giant that keep her/them "safe" in an icy jail, them progeny, savior and murderer. The continuation of the events in Castle Black is still pending, while the situation is explosive. Logically, some of the sworn brothers and the Wildlings should kill each other, and Castle Black should suffer almost total destruction, but it will be necessary to wait until the next volume to find out, and GRRM knows how to spare surprises. In any case, it seems to me that the Night's Watch is condemned to destruction, and the Wall to the fall (an avalanche or a slower melting, with drowning castles of the Watch as a result) : both are as worn out and weakened as Sweet Robin's rag doll. -b) The giant at the Red Keep The second picture I will mention is part of the pre-saga story, when a good fifteen years earlier, the Mountain - alias Gregor Clegane, the giant knight and Hound's brother - smashed against a wall in the Red Keep the head of little Rhaegar's son (who died on the battlefield), Aegon Targaryen, and raped his mother, the princess of Dorne Elia, before killing her too. Gregor Clegane is Tywin Lannister's sworn knight, the "monster" manipulated by a "clever man". We find our same characters, with the capture of a castle and a crown at stake, but it seems that the episode does not take place at the same time as the destruction of Sansa Castle, but before its construction, which is marked by the murder of children: Gregor's story would be that where the invoked giant will kill the descendants of a king so that the clever man ("man" is for Tywin Lannister, but I think that originally there is a clever "raven queen") who manipulates him ensures the power of his own lineage. Then Tywin will make his daughter a queen by marrying her to the new king. A cold and dead queen for her husband: Oh, Cersei is lovely to look at, truly, but cold... the way she guards her cunt, you'd think she had all the gold of Casterly Rock between her legs! (Robert Baratheon to Eddard, in Eddard VII, AGOT) This king husband is gradually becoming puppet king, his court invaded by Lannister and himself drowned by drinking and feasting, until this scene reported by Jaime, where we see that like the queen, the king was symbolically dead long before his last hunting trip: "That was Raymun Darry's bedchamber. Where King Robert slept, on our return from Winterfell. Ned Stark's daughter had run off after her wolf savaged Joff, you'll recall. My sister wanted the girl to lose a hand. The old penalty, for striking one of the blood royal. Robert told her she was cruel and mad. They fought for half the night . . . well, Cersei fought, and Robert drank. Past midnight, the queen summoned me inside. The king was passed out snoring on the Myrish carpet. I asked my sister if she wanted me to carry him to bed. She told me I should carry her to bed, and shrugged out of her robe. I took her on Raymun Darry's bed after stepping over Robert. If His Grace had woken I would have killed him there and then. He would not have been the first king to die upon my sword . . . but you know that story, don't you?" He slashed at a tree branch, shearing it in half. "As I was fucking her, Cersei cried, 'I want.' I thought that she meant me, but it was the Stark girl that she wanted, maimed or dead." The things I do for love. "It was only by chance that Stark's own men found the girl before me. If I had come on her first . . ." (Jaime IV, AFFC) Let's note for completing the "dead king" the return of the same themes : past midnight the mogwai turning to gremlins a mad queen (this time daughter of a clever man) against a wolf, and Jaime as the brave knight defending his beloved queen and finally losing his sword hand (like ser Patrek). Briefly, the queen and the crown were well poisoned gifts, but they turned against the clever man Tywin, who was forced to support his grandson Joffrey, despite his obvious madness, and whose violent behaviour with princess Sansa would cause the Lannisters to fall as a result of snowballing: I mean, if Sansa hadn't confirmed to Margaery Tyrell - King Joffrey's new promised princess - and her so sweet grandma' Olenna that Joffrey was a cruel and unpredictable monster, he probably wouldn't have been murdered (by the Tyrell). Joffrey - as Sweet Robin destroyed the snow castle by his convulsions - will weaken the Lannisters' house by his gratuitously cruel behaviour, before his death precipitates the fall by the bursting of his facade cohesion. Joffrey's death is followed by Tyrion's trial, concluded by a new head exploded by Gregor Clegane, the head of Elia's brother Oberyn Martell. It's also followed by Jaime refusing Casterly Rock and chosing his vows as white knight, plus Tyrion's and Cersei's obsessive hatred. The Blackwater and the Red Wedding didn't save the Lannister, at the end. Moreover, Joffrey's poisoning and the confusion caused allowed princess Sansa to be freed from the Red Keep. And Gregor Clegane, changed into Robert Strong, will lose his head. -c) The giant at the Trident Finally, the third picture of a smashing giant is that of Lord Robert Baratheon (before he became king), in whose honour Robert Arryn was named, in love with his warhammer, with whom he killed Rhaegar: They had come together at the ford of the Trident while the battle crashed around them, Robert with his warhammer and his great antlered helm, the Targaryen prince armored all in black. On his breastplate was the three-headed dragon of his House, wrought all in rubies that flashed like fire in the sunlight. The waters of the Trident ran red around the hooves of their destriers as they circled and clashed, again and again, until at last a crushing blow from Robert's hammer stove in the dragon and the chest beneath it. When Ned had finally come on the scene, Rhaegar lay dead in the stream, while men of both armies scrabbled in the swirling waters for rubies knocked free of his armor. (Eddard I, volume 1 A Game of Thrones). Here the dragon is both, the three-headed ruby dragon that adorned Rhaegar's armor and Rhaegar himself, and it is the warhammer that replaces the doll. By digging this third reminiscence, we notice that in the present we have a Stark, a Robert and a Littlefinger/Baelish who once had fun playing dragon knights and "Prince of dragonflies" with the young Tully girls at Riverrun ("Prince of dragonflies" was the nickname of an heir Targaryen who had renounced to the throne after his marriage with a commoner). She had played at being Jenny that day, had even wound flowers in her hair. And Petyr had pretended to be her Prince of Dragonflies. Catelyn could not have been more than twelve, Petyr just a boy. (Catelyn V, volume 3 A Storm of Swords) In the past, we had a Robert (Baratheon), a Stark (Lyanna) and a singer Targaryen (Rhaegar). In other words, Sansa seems to be reenacting Lyanna's situation between two suitors, one subtle hunter and singer and the other with a quite brutal strength. It is also interesting to note that Robert Baratheon is strongly associated with summer, through his appetite for life and his reproductive strength (he literally sows his bastards). However, its excesses have their drawbacks: his procreative power does not reach his own home, and his strength is suffocating or drying for others, as deadly as an excessive winter. For example: Cersei "mocked" at her wedding night (Robert calls her "Lyanna") becomes a cold queen. Robert deflowered a cousin of his brother Stannis' wife's, on the wedding night, in the wedding bed, and Stannis' marriage would give only one sick fruit, princess Shireen. If I don't think there is a real cause-and-effect relationship between these two facts, the link is clearly established from a symbolic point of view and at least from the point of view of the mystic queen Selyse : it is nothing less than a castration in which one (Robert) assumes the power of the other (Stannis) without anyone benefiting from it, since in the end the child who is born (Edric Storm) risks dying sacrificed; the little interest that Stannis shows in sexuality is also his response to the excesses of his older brother. The hard winter is the brother of the hot summer, two sides of the same coin ! However, as with the two previous pictures, if the protagonists are the same, the moment told doesn't seem the same. Killing the "last dragon" (aka Prince Rhaegar)- who had seduced and kidnapped his promised princess Lyanna - and seizing his throne, did not bring Robert any luck, because Lyanna died and the solar wife who replaced her turned out to be as cold as a corpse; and every night, he also relived in his dreams the moment he killed his rival, as if he was cursed : the tragic story can find no end and is infinitely replayed : that's the deadly curse. Although at first sight Robert Baratheon did not have any of the symbolic characteristics of the crow - and Rhaegar as a winged dragon with black armour and as a singer gets closer to it - it is nevertheless he who suffers the "curse" and dwindles over time, the kingdom breaking up in the same movement, as evidenced by the colossal debt of the Crown, which also has its symbolic value, and of which Littlefinger seems the main architect as master of coins ! A man like Petyr Baelish, who had a gift for rubbing two golden dragons together to breed a third, was invaluable to his Hand. Littlefinger's rise had been arrow-swift. Within three years of his coming to court, he was master of coin and a member of the small council, and today the crown's revenues were ten times what they had been under his beleaguered predecessor . . . though the crown's debts had grown vast as well. A master juggler was Petyr Baelish. Oh, he was clever. (Tyrion IV, ACOK) In other words, the fruits are stolen by the "clever man" who feeds on them and thrives on corpses... like the scavenger bird that is the crow. After the clash of kings and the storm of swords, crows can feast. After he won the Iron Throne, Robert Baratheon took his mentor, the surrogate father and old bird Lord Jon Arryn, as his Hand. If Jon Arryn is not depicted at all as a thief or a liar (he is seen as the exact opposite), he carries with him a sterility ("the seed is weak"!) that contaminates all his close entourage, starting with his young and unfortunate wife, mother of a very sickly child after many miscarriages. It's him again - he knows about weddings! - who negotiates Robert's with Cersei Lannister, and then introduces Littlefinger to the court. In short : the strong Stag (replacing here the direwolf) was surrounded and finally drowned by many clever symbollic birds. His seed was strong only out of the Red Keep. This exploration of three reminiscences showed us the permanence of certain patterns and typical characters. We have seen above Sweet Robin as the symbolic heir of a weakened lineage, but as Sansa's betrothed, he also plays the part of the giant puppet husband, the one who have to marry the "dead" princess, offering his strength and his corpse to the greenseer (the crow) who want her. And in turn, the giant is trapped by the deadly curse, he becomes a monster who give birth to monsters predating maiden. Maybe it's a chance for Tyrion that he didn't touched Sansa. --- Our dead princess trapped in her dream and hypnotized by it, fears that it will be broken and therefore defends her castle. However, far from succeeding, it precipitates its destruction, which resembles the functioning of prophecies made in GRRM : when one tries to fulfill them, they escape, but they catch up with those who want to avoid them. As for the ignorant, they may eventually benefit, even when the price paid seems very high. The scene of the Winterfell of Snow precisely realizes the vision that the old ghost of High Heart had described earlier in the saga to the members of the Brotherhood Without Banner: "(...)And then I dreamed again of this girl, killing a fierce giant in a castle built all in snow." (Arya VIII, volume 3 A Storm of Swords) I will not stop here on the entire vision of the Dwarf - which in my opinion tells more than just the anticipation of the Red and Purple Weddings and Sansa at the Eyrie - but on the picture of this decapitated giant finally announced in first Bran's visions : He looked south, and saw the great blue-green rush of the Trident. He saw his father pleading with the king, his face etched with grief. He saw Sansa crying herself to sleep at night, and he saw Arya watching in silence and holding her secrets hard in her heart. There were shadows all around them. One shadow was dark as ash, with the terrible face of a hound. Another was armored like the sun, golden and beautiful. Over them both loomed a giant in armor made of stone, but when he opened his visor, there was nothing inside but darkness and thick black blood. (Bran III, volume 1 A Game of Thrones) "Darkness" and "thick black blood" are echoeing to what comes out of the decapitated doll: It was more than Sansa could stand. "Robert, stop that." Instead he swung the doll again, and a foot of wall exploded. She grabbed for his hand but she caught the doll instead. There was a loud ripping sound as the thin cloth tore. Suddenly she had the doll's head, Robert had the legs and body, and the rag-and-sawdust stuffing was spilling in the snow. Since "black blood" is clearly associated with "bastard blood" in the saga, this idea of the strength of a robbed bastard wolf used for the benefit of another is repeated. There is a very concrete illustration of a giant creature used for its sole strength through Robert Strong, the late Gregor Clegane "resurrected" by Qyburn. The ripping of the doll is also a metaphor of castration, repeating the earlier metaphor with LF, when with Sansa they had shaped and erected the Broken Tower, whose top Sansa had grabbed to throw at his captor's face. Robert's violent crisis after the "death" of his giant doll (after his own mutilation, therefore) anticipates in my opinion one or more cataclysmic events of the saga. The first one I think of (and thanks to @sweetsunray for having pointed it long before) is an avalanche from the Giant's Spear that could destroy the Eyrie. Indeed, it is repeated more than once in the saga that the castle was impregnable... from below. But the possibility of an avalanche was mentioned in AGOT by Catelyn as she was climbing towards Arryn's Castle. It was also symbolically evoked through Sansa's point of view during the Tourney of the Hand: Gregor Clegane fell "like an avalanche" on the young new knight ser Hugh of the Vale and pierced his throat with his lance. The moons embroidered on the dead man's cloak are then dyed one by one with the blood flowing from the wound (considering all what already wrote here, I also see in the bloody moon all the "princess" maiden drowned successively by marrying the cursed Prince Promised : the old queen are replaced by the young, and so on and on whithout an end). The second cataclysm I think of is for the essential one : it's the destruction of Winterfell after the destruction of its monstrous heart tree and the "convulsions" of the prisoner(s) of that heart tree, the heirs and family who gave their blood to the tree and the stones of the castle (this includes the destruction of the Wall after the destruction of the Night Fort's weirwood). I believe that the "destruction" of the heart tree is part of Daenerys' visions at the HOTU : From a smoking tower, a great stone beast took wing, breathing shadow fire. . . . mother of dragons, slayer of lies . . . (Daenerys IV, ACOK) So... if I don't mistake about the original bastardize of the Stark of Winterfell, we could have here our lie. However, the chapter does not stop with the destruction of the castle and the crisis of the young Robert. Maester Colemon takes care of him, soothes him, recommends dreamwine so that he can sleep, and leeches to remove the bad moods of the blood. A symbolic death, but without pain and in dreams, the best that we could hope for Bran now. If my hypothesis about the destruction of Winterfell is correct, let's remember that at the end of ACOK, Maester Luwin dragged himself seriously wounded to the heart tree and asked Osha a last favor - probably the "gift of mercy" at the foot of the tree. As Maester Luwin studied "valyrian magic" at the Citadel, the choice of the weirwood to die is unlikely the result of chance. On the other hand, I won't comment on what Luwin was able to know exactly: the most likely, in my opinion, being that he performed his last possible act, betting on his post-mortem utility. Does it mean that Luwin's soul could later help the Bran boy to definitely rest in peace (like Colemon with Robert) ? Before being brought back to his room, Sweet Robin in tears has time to whisper that he hates "Alayne" and that she is a bastard. I suspect that there is here again a game of GRRM with two clichés: the truth that comes out of the children's mouths (he has already used it to reveal to Eddard Stark the bastardise of Joffrey, Myrcella and Tommen), and "crisis" are signs of "divine" possession after which the possessed delivers a word revealing one or several taboo truths. Sansa returned to her bastardise through Alayne could paradoxically be the first step for our maid towards a deliverance from the Stark curse, and the exit from the frozen and restless hell to which they seem promised after death. -Conclusion- Here is the conclusion of the "snow castle", but not for the chapter. They led the boy away. My lord husband, Sansa thought, as she contemplated the ruins of Winterfell. The snow had stopped, and it was colder than before. She wondered if Lord Robert would shake all through their wedding. At least Joffrey was sound of body. A mad rage seized hold of her. She picked up a broken branch and smashed the torn doll's head down on top of it, then pushed it down atop the shattered gatehouse of her snow castle. The servants looked aghast, but when Littlefinger saw what she'd done he laughed. "If the tales be true, that's not the first giant to end up with his head on Winterfell's walls." "Those are only stories," she said, and left him there. Applause. And back behind the scene, in the bedroom, by the fire. This conclusion of the episode is intriguing because the story could have ended before, with the death of the giant and the destruction of the castle-coffin, involving the deliverance of the princess, her husband, and the appeasement for their descendants victims of the same curse (remember the feast of the dead presided over by a wolf-headed man, whose vision Daenerys has in the Hotel des Nonmourants). However, Sansa is in turn taken by some fury that responds to the crisis of little Robert, grabs the doll's head and puts it to the end of a stick that she plants at one of the ruined doors of her castle. As she has just thought of Joffrey, this head on the ruined castle is an echo of her father's head on the ramparts of the Red Keep: Sansa takes revenge for the fall of her house and the destruction of her childlike world that had flavours of paradise, which underlay her desire to rebuild Winterfell, even in snow. I insisted a lot in my analysis on a symbolic interpretation, but it is obvious that Sansa's first motivation to build this snow castle is the desire to return home. Its destruction shattered the illusion of a return to a happy childhood and her dreams of a world of song: it also showed the real fragility of a Winterfell as a greenseer's dream. Like the Wall, holding out for centuries or even millennia is not a guarantee of eternity. It therefore seems to me very important in this sequence that the "post-mortem" punishment inflicted on the giant is Sansa's sole initiative, and that she reproduce the murder of her father: it is her first step for the gestation of a new woman and who should in the end renounce tales, songs and stories. Littlefinger is having fun, but he shouldn't. Indeed, he is precisely the specialist in lying stories, and the sticks in the snowy Winterfell did not prevent him from being destroyed. Playing the father is dangerous too. On the other hand, if his personal coat of arms is a mockingbird, that of his family represents the Colossus of Braavos, a giant statue that serves as a doorway to Braavos, but also as a lookout and defence. A legend reported by Arya tells that he is a giant who loves little girls, and at the sight of the colossus, she think : He could step right over the walls of Winterfell. Then the Titan gave a mighty roar. (Arya I, AFFC) Exactly Littlefinger entering the snowy Winterfell. In any case, now that our Snow White is dead and buried in her snow castle, she can enter the underworld for a face-to-face with the evil queen, and the final dance of Grimm's tale can take place
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