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northern_amnesia

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  1. This theory came up when I was trying to find a more or less reasonable explanation for The Others, their behavior and their goals. It ended up being a theory about swords and reborn heroes, but along the way, I think I found several interesting things. The first question I asked myself was, why now? What made The Others ‘appear’ after thousands of years, and for no apparent reason. Clearly, something "woke them". Since we don't know why they appeared the first time, and we don't know how and why they left either, the best we can do is look for patterns. There must be some event that we can identify that links what happened thousands of years ago to what is happening now, and I think I found that pattern. We’ll start with what we know about The Others. I. The Sword According to the legend that Old Nan tells Bran, the Others are “cold dead things that hate iron and fire and “the touch of the sun”. What interests us for now is the “touch of the sun” because it makes you think that the Others are gargoyles. A gargoyle is a beast that remains in its stone form during the day (it’s a statue), but at night, the gargoyle comes to life to terrorize the place they guard. That is exactly the behavior of The Others, they terrorize the watch during winter nights and disappear (or "melt away") during the day when the "touch of the sun" reaches them. This explains of course that the end of the "Long Night" was called "the battle for the dawn", since the idea is to make The Others 'melt' definitively. There is another interesting place in terms of gargoyles, the crypt of Winterfell. As we know, when the Starks (lords or kings) die, a statue of ‘their likeness’ is built in their honor and a sword is placed on their lap. The sword does exactly what the "the touch of the sun" do to the gargoyles (and the Others) keep them still. The sword keeps "the vengeful spirits" inside the crypt. Apparently, the Starks feared (or hoped) that their dead would rise, at least the kings. This is where things get interesting. As we know, the legend that I mentioned before, speaks of the Last Hero, the one responsible for finding the magic that ends the long night. Old Nan doesn't finish the story, so we don't know what he found, but we know that he was the last of a group of 13 people, and that after his companions die one by one, he is all alone and his sword “froze so hard”, that the steel shattered when he tried to use it. Related to this legend, there’s another hero, Azor Ahai. This one needed a "special" sword, but when forging it, it breaks twice. Eventually he realizes that what he needs to forge it once and for all, is his wife’s blood, so he sacrifices her. Now, during the sacrifice, her blood and her soul and her strength and her courage all went into the steel. This is how Lightbringer, the “red” sword, is forged. Here I must pause for a minute to talk about vows, the army created specifically to fight during the Long Night, and the third gargoyle in this story, the Night’s Watch. The NW doesn’t have any specific function after the 'dawn', basically they are 'statues' that just watch from the wall waiting for the Long Night to come to go and terrorize those mean Others. So clearly, there’s a link between The Others, Lightbringer, and the NW that will be clear soon. For now, I just need to mention that there are two vows that are directly related to the heroes of legend: · I am the sword in the darkness: related to the LH and the Starks, considering what I mentioned about the crypt. · The light that brings the dawn: clearly related with Lightbringer, the end of the Long Night and the new day. I want to highlight a couple of extremely interesting things regarding these vows. When Ned arrives at the Tower of Joy and talks to the 3 guards, towards the end of the dialogue (as they prepare to fight), Dayne tells him “And now it begins”, to which Ned replies with sadness in his voice, “No. Now it ends”. This exchange is reminiscent of the beginning of the Night's Watch vows, when the brothers recite "Night gathers, and now my watch begins, it shall not end until my death." The two vows that I mentioned are about a sword "in the darkness" that, as I said, makes you think of the way that the Starks are buried, and on the other hand of the "light that brings the dawn", as if the vows were talking about two different swords, opposites, one of darkness and one of light, and that’s exactly the case. That idea is repeated elsewhere, in the song "The Dornishman's wife" that contrasts the light and beauty of the woman, in opposition to the darkness and coldness of the Dornishman's sword. Dayne, as Ned remembers in his tower dream, was "the sword of the morning" and when he draws the sword, Ned notices that Dawn is "alive with light" as opposed to what he remembers of Lyanna, when she spills the rose petals "dead and black” as she dies, so this idea of light and darkness is repeated. The tower episode takes place in Dorne, a very interesting place because it’s the place where Rhaegar's wife, Elia, was born. Ned remembers the red mountains that can be seen behind the tower, emphasizing this link, considering that Elia's coat of arms has a spear piercing the sun (like the Tower is piercing the red landscape). The guards, for their part, clearly had no intention of leaving that place alive, which again makes you think about the "red" sword, mostly because even after 15 years, in Ned's dreams, the faces of the guards still 'burn', as Lightbringer is supposed to burn. Ned's dream is extremely interesting and I'll talk more of that dream later, but first we need to talk about another legend, of the 13th Lord Commander of the Night's Watch, the Night's King and his queen. II. The Watcher In the legend, the NK is the 13th LC, the number of course links him to the LH, who was the 13th hero of the group looking for magic. On the other hand, the NK legend also mentions the Others, the LC is supposed to make sacrifices, so we can (and should) assume that his story is related to the LH, even though they are not the same person. In the legend, the NK was a "fearless warrior" and this is important for two details: • Fearless: when Old Nan begins to tell the legend of the LH and the Others, he tells Bran “fear is for the winter” and this is important as we will see. • Warrior: We know very little about Rhaegar, but one of the things we do know is that, at a young age, after reading "something" the prince announced that he needed to be a warrior, and this is also important in this legend. The LC falls in love with a woman and “chased her and caught her and loved her”. The somewhat sudden infatuation, the chase and the presumed love of course makes one think of Lyanna and Rhaegar, as it should, but things are much more complicated. The description of the woman makes you think of an “Other” and that’s the point, but the thing is that the woman is an “other” but not in the sense of the blue-eyed creatures that roam north of the Wall, but rather the other woman in love with Rhaegar, his wife. Legend calls the woman the "corpse queen" and here is the crux of the matter. We know that AA sacrificed his wife NN to create his sword, Lightbringer, and we know that this sword is the one that creates a brand new day, or rather, "the song of fire" in which, as Brianne said: In short, Lightbringer ends the Long Night, the long affaire, what the legend doesn’t say is that Lightbringer is not exactly a sword, nor that the day can be as terrifying as the night. To understand how LB was forged, let's first examine what the legend says, and then I'll talk about the falling. When Azor Ahai realizes that he needs his wife's blood, basically, that he needs her dead, this happens: “her blood and her soul and her strength and her courage all went into the steel”. So basically, part of NN, her best part, her ‘essence’, and more importantly, “her blood” goes straight into the sword. We know that the "blood" in this story defines people's appearance, Rhaegar's appearance with his silver hair and violet eyes came from his Old Valyrian blood. This is what the legend says: The creation of Lightbringer begins when Rhaegar goes to war against the usurper Robert Baratheon, but it doesn’t end there, as the legend says, it takes a while. In the battle of the Trident, Rhaegar falls hammered like a newly forged sword, and his body falls into the water, where as far as we know, thanks to the flying rubies, he disappears. That's AA's first attempt at forging LB, the attempt on water, Rhaegar's death. As we know Aegon dies by Tywin's command, that is the second attempt, the "lion's hunt", the third one is the wife’s sacrifice and his wife was Elia, not Lyanna. The winter rose was “the other”. Rhaegar, not only dies, but ends up completely shattered like the LH's sword, but raises again, harder and stronger apparently free to start again. Apparently. As legend has it, when the sword is forged, everything that was Elia goes straight into the sword and when that happens, the silver-haired, violet-eyed prince transforms into the "toad" that is currently Lightbringer. By "light of day" when the "touch of the sun" hits him full, Rhaegar is nothing more than what the legend of the Night's King says: "only a man". Rhaegar’s "enlightened" version, like Elia, has brown hair and eyes, and a completely ordinary face. Of course, like any dornish, the king has some trouble kneeling. Rhaegar 2.0 is Mance Rayder, the rightful King, and Azor Ahai reborn… with a different face. There are tons of clues in the text that Mance is indeed Rhaegar, starting with the cloak he wears, though the clues start in AGoT’s prologue, the entire conversation that the 3 rangers have about the dead and the things you can learn from them, it's gold. The story that Qhorin tells Jon about how Mance got to the Wall is also, I think, an interesting clue. According to the ranger, Mance was wildling born, "taken as a child when some raiders were put to the sword." So he’s basically part of Rhaegar but “taken” by his wife. There's also a cool hint that Aemon gives. When he and Sam are traveling to Old Town and he finds out about the birth of the dragons, he starts talking about how he and Rhaegar had discussed who was the promised prince, which is clearly quite difficult to do by raven. Of course, if Rhaegar was at the Wall, things are much easier. Aemon also says two very interesting things on that trip, first that “fire consumes, but cold preserves”, (clearly the “fire” of Elia's sun consumed Rhaegar), and second, he talks about the sphinx and the riddle. The sphinx, as we know, is a monster made up of 3 parts: • A human face – Elia's • The body of an animal – Rhaegar’s • Wings, which according to the sphinx are from different animals – in this case a dragon. The sphinxes come in pairs, women and men, opposites like day and night, and of course, that's important in this story, because of the idea that there are two forces at play, Elia's fire and Lyanna's ice, or what is the same, light and darkness. Before continuing, it is important to highlight a couple of details. In the legend, it is the union of the Stark of Winterfell and Joramun of the wildlings that ends the reign of the Night's King, and this leads us directly to the two vows related with this legend: · I am the watcher on the walls · The horn that wakes the sleepers Once again, as in the previous vows, we have a contrast between the “watcher” and the “sleeper”, between day and night. But there’s an important detail because the first vow speaks of "walls" in the plural. If we consider that as I said, there is a link between the LH and the NK and that the “sword in the darkness” refers to the Winterfell crypt, then the “walls” take us back to the crypt. The legend never clearly explains what the "Horn of Winter" is, but we know enough. It is assumed that the horn that the wildlings had, which of course was not "the" horn, had the power to bring down the wall. Dalla, Mance's wife, added a very interesting detail: “sorcery is a sword without a hilt” and this is a good point to get back to Ned’s dream and some very important details that have to do with the guards. • When Dayne draws the sword (towards the end of the dream) he takes it with both hands and when doing so, Ned notices how the sword was “alive with light”, so both hands are important for the sword to come alive. • Whent is on one knee “sharpening his blade” meaning, the blade of the sword is visible, but not the hilt. Whent also has the black bat of Harrenhal on his helm, which of course, makes one think of witchcraft and things that fly. • Hightower, the LC, is standing fierce, but there’s no mention of any sword. In Jon's nightmares of the crypt, which are clearly related to Ned's dream and these legends, Jon stands in front of the crypt door and knows he has to go down, even though he doesn't want to. In this part of the nightmare, there are 3 things that relate to Ned's dream and the position of the guards, but more importantly, to the "Horn of Winter", because, just as Stannis's sword isn’t the right one, the sound of the horn is also incorrect. Jon yells “I'm not a Stark” which is incorrect, what the horn has to yell is the answer to the question posed by the Nightfort's Black Gate: “Who are you” and “not a Stark” is clearly not the answer. Clearly the horn is not, like Lightbringer, an object, but something else, a power. Melisandre, (which ironically ended up in the right place for all the wrong reasons), constantly talks about the PTWP and “waking dragons” from stone and clearly that is the purpose of the horn “wake the sleepers”. To understand how a frozen sleeping dragon is awakened, we need to talk about the last two vows, Lyanna, and the Others. III. The shield that guards Our last two vows are: · The fire that burns against the cold · The shield that guards the realms of men The NW vows are, as we know six, and that is precisely the number of Others that surround Waymar in the prologue, which is not accidental. Previously, I mentioned the position in which Ned finds the guards and there is a clear parallel between them, the first 3 vows and the sphinxs that's currently Rhaegar: • Dayne is “the sword” (with Dawn) • Whent is “the watcher” (with his bat) • Hightower is “the fire” (with the beacon tower of his coat of arms) I also said that in Ned's dream there’s a clear contrast between light and dark and that the faces of the guards, like Lightbringer, "burn" In contrast, we have the statues of Winterfell. In the crypt, the Starks are portrayed in a peculiar way, because the statue represents 'the likeness' that is accompanied by a direwolf, while the sword fulfills the function of keeping the spirit locked up. The point is that the sword, unlike the statue, is not made of stone, but of iron, so clearly the confinement isn’t permanent, is just about resting, not about being a prisoner. When Ned visits the crypt with Robert, he thinks that the oldest swords “had long ago rusted away to nothing, leaving only a few red stains where the metal had rested on stone”. Another extremely interesting thing about the Starks is something that Ned tells his wife, that the Starks "were made for the cold" and Cat thinks he's wrong because the castle is built in the hottest place in the north and precisely, that is the point. WF “rests” on boiling waters, waters that burn the stone walls but, like swords, do not damage them, they just leave “red stains”. The crypt, which is underground, should be a very hot place and yet it isn’t, clearly because the Starks are "made for the cold". Ned's memory of Lyanna's death, being in the crypt no less, is extremely interesting because it explains the "B side" of the creation of Lightbringer and that’s the creation of the 'Night's Watch', but not the men in black that take care of the Wall, but of the Others. There's something that Littlefinger tells Ned that is very relevant to Lyanna's death, that the Starks were made of ice and melt when they rode south. We see this firsthand when Ned goes to KL and struggles not just with the weather, but with being away from home and his family. That’s the core of the Starks, they protect their pack. Now, to understand the rest of the story and the "fire that burns against the cold" we must talk about Bael. It’s clear that the song of Bael has to do with Jon, but as in the NK legend, the story is much more complicated. What interests us about the song are only some details that are directly related to Lyanna’s death and The Others. • Bael goes to Winterfell one winter night and claims to be named "Sygerrik" which means "deceiver", this double identity will be important in a bit. • Bael spends the night singing, and this is essential, because, above all, this is a song about swords and swords were made to sing. • Bael hides in the crypt with the dead • For reasons never explained, Bael returns years later when the young Stark is already an adult and when they face each other in battle, the son kills him because he doesn’t recognize him. The mother, who sees her son coming from battle with his father's head on a spear (hello Dorne), throws herself from a tower, as if she were a bird or a dragon. When Lyanna dies, Ned recalls that she asks him to take her to WF “to rest beside father and Brandon”. By the time the maiden arrives, she does so basically as a gargoyle, 'turned to stone', moreover, 2 extra Starks arrive in the same state and together, they form a "three-headed" statue like the Targaryen shield. The interesting thing about this 3-headed stone gargoyle is how each of them dies: • Brandon dies trying to reach a sword that he never reaches, as opposed to Dayne holding Dawn with both hands. • Rickard is roasted to death when he demands a trial by combat, as opposed to Hightower who is standing fierce with no sword in sight. • Lyanna dies on a “bed of blood” as opposed to Whent who sharpens a sword So clearly, these 6 people are related to each other and to the NW vows, but more importantly, they are related to the Others. I said above, when I talked about Dayne's position, that Dawn looks "alive with light" when Arthur holds it with both hands, and the faces of the guards burn as opposed to the statues which, of course, are perfectly preserved. In the prologue, Will notes that the Other's eyes "burn like ice" so basically the Others are "frozen fire" made flesh or what’s the same, they are Lyanna's "Night's Watch", the men who died for her, the burning faces of the guards accompanied by the direwolves made of shadows of the Starks, that are watching and keeping her while she rests. The Others are basically frozen werewolves, a mixture of each guard and each dead Stark, that's why their swords are blue, because as Osha said, "winter's got no King", what they have is a queen who loved Winter roses. Lyanna dies as a fearless warrior “the fear had gone out of his sister's eyes”, just like the legendary NK, and more importantly, she dies smiling: “Ned remembered the way she had smiled”. As the Dornish song teaches, the hero (the other of that song), dies singing. I already mentioned that Lyanna's death with the falling petals “dead and black” is in stark contrast to Dayne's sword, “alive with light”. If, as I maintain, Mance is the “alive with light” version of Rhaegar, then the Horn of Winter has to take him directly to a “dead and black” version, a version more like himself. Lyanna dies holding Ned's hand tightly, as if holding a sword while she makes him promise something that is never specified, but we know what it is. Ned remembers that he gives Lyanna “his word” and as we know, the Starks words are “Winter is Coming”, that is the promise, a wolf (Stark) running in the snow, (the 3 men in white guarding her tower), to hide the promise until the time comes. The NK and the “corpse queen” ruled for 13 years until the Stark of Winterfell and Joramun joined to free the watch from bondage. Ned thinks about the sacrifices he had to make to keep his promise to his sister and that's what the NK legend talks about, not the sacrifices Craster makes, but these two women that must come together because as Ned told Arya of his fights with Sansa: The first Other, the one that duels Waymar, is literally "the sword in the darkness", but the most interesting thing about this watcher is his sword. That sword "alive with moonlight" is tremendously similar to the one that Jon gives Arya, and what Jon says when he gets stabbed, “stick them with the pointy end”, is basically what the Others do to Waymar. When Jon gives his sister the sword, he tells her: "It won't hack a man's head off, but it can poke him full of holes if you're fast enough." That's exactly how you create a perfect king, like a sphinxs, with bits and pieces. In short, the Horn of Winter should reforge Lightbriger, to put a little “blue” on so much red to get a nice purple, because as Salla told Davos, “too much light can hurt the eyes and fire burns” and consumes. To properly temper the sword and make it "warm" rather than "smoking hot", only one ingredient is missing from those mentioned in the legend: What is missing is the song of ice, a wolf singing that winter is finally coming, because although Rhaegar was far from being a promised Prince, between these two women, a good king may be tempered.
  2. You misunderstood. There are 3 riddles, but the last one is splitted in two because of the two locations, Storm's End and Dragonstone.
  3. Hi everyone! This is the second part of a theory that tries to explain that Ned's dream is something like a "treasure map" that consists of 4 riddles that we have to guess to understand what the dream is really about and most important, what’s the meaning of “The Song of Ice & Fire”. As I said in the previous part, for each place that Ned mentions, there is a riddle that is solved using different tools: a song, a couple of the NW vows, two of the shadows that accompany Ned to the Tower and a clue that we can find in Waymar’s death scene. Which sound is it that unmans you so? To solve the first riddle, the one about the Trident, we are going to use Bael’s song, in which "someone" tells the bard that Lord Stark had accused him of being a coward and that unleashes the tragedy that follows. Before solving the riddle, however, we need to consider one particularity of that song, which is extremely misleading. Bael's song, under the guise of a love story, actually hides five stories. That's the song's first trick, hiding in plain sight in the singer's name. The name 'BAEL' is made up of the names of four people who symbolize something in each part of the song, and includes the name of the singer himself "Bael" because this is his song, this is his version. This peculiarity ties him with the main character of the second song that matters to us, "The Dornishman's Wife" because we know that Bael dies facing the consequence of his actions, (his son). In the Dornish song the singer is killed by the husband, so again he dies facing the consequences of sleeping with a married woman. Finally, the legend of the Night’s King is the story where the other two songs come together, and tells the consequences of having declared himself king, after stealing a woman. He was listening to something else The bard 'hears' that the Lord called him a "a craven that prayed only on the weak" and decides to go to Winterfell to teach him a lesson. Bael's plan, which proves successful, is to arrive at Winterfell under an assumed name and spend the night singing for the Lord. The problem comes with the reward, when the lord tells him to name his reward, the bard asks for “the fairest flower that blooms” in Winterfell. From Bael's point of view, the fact that the lord offers him a reward proves that he deceived him, but from the Lord's point of view, that Bael accepts the reward is proof that the bard is exactly what he thought, because Bael didn't go to Winterfell to prove he was a deceiver, he went to prove he was brave. Bael is a craven because he has to hide behind a false identity to go to Winterfell, "Sygerrik", and he is also, as he is proving with his actions, a craven that allows a rose to be cut, a rose that is "rare and precious", to sustain his deception. Sygerrik’s arrival to Winterfell is actually the arrival of the direwolves, or rather, Ghost’s arrival. In the prologue, one of Waymar's brothers, Gared, tells Royce about the effects of the cold because he experienced it himself: For now, we are only interested in the "two ears" because that’s the first clue that there’s something strange about the way Ghost appears. Only Jon seems to listen his whimpering and yet he never makes a sound, he is the only one of the 6 wolves that never ‘sings’. Jon hears Ghost's "call" when no one else hears it, but the thing doesn't end there, in fact, the thing had started the moment Jon convinced Ned that those wolves "were meant for his children" just like Bael convinced the Lord that he was a great singer who deserved a great reward, and this is essential in this story. When Jon tells him that, Ned asks if he didn't want one of the pups for himself, to which Jon, as we know, basically tells him that he doesn't deserve it because he's not a Stark. That's the rose from the song that “blooms” at Winterfell, not Jon the bastards. Bael 'sings' the song but it’s the lord who writes it, because the boy grows up to become the next Lord and whoever wins, writes the story as he wants. This story is not really about Jon, he is the consequence of another story. Bael's story continues with the disappearance of the maiden and the search made by both the Starks and the NW, to try to find the Lord's daughter and the criminal who took her and that leads us directly to the Trident and our first riddle. I looked for you on the Trident At the trident, on the way to KL and before Arya and Joffrey fight, Sansa meets a series of knights and plays a little game where they give her clues, and she must guess their identity. That's what we're doing with Ned's dream, naming people, guessing their identity. Let's see our first riddle: We need to “look” for something to guess our first riddle. These are our clues: · Waymar’s right blue eye that “burns blue” · The hilt of Arthur’s sword · The “proud father” Cassel, the “faithful” Wull · Two vows: sword in the darkness – light that brings the dawn · A sphinx made up by Arthur Dayne, Brandon Stark y Waymar Royce What we're looking for are things (more than one because Gerold says we) that Ned looked for in the Trident, and weren't there. In the dream, Oswell is sharpening a sword and he is the one who speaks of a "usurper". One of the vows that we have as a clue is precisely a sword. Gerold says "we were not there". On the Trident, Ned loses two things, Arya and Nymeria. We also know that Lady, Sansa's wolf dies instead of Nymeria, who’s never found. Interestingly, Dayne doesn't reply, so clearly, we're looking for a sword. But let's also note that our other clue, Waymar's right eye “burns blue”. The Sword in the darkness Bael’s song tells the story of a maiden and her lover hiding in the crypt of Winterfell, and in the crypt, there are only two things: statues and swords. We can clearly see that in Jon's nightmares: In the nightmare, Jon walks through the empty castle as if he were the Lord Brandon of the song in search of his only daughter, of course the first visit is to ‘the ravens’ (the NW) who can't find her, then the stables, that scares him because as we know, Bael “was a great rider”, then he climbs the tower to shout for the maiden (someone) or for the bard (anyone), and then he arrives at the crypt, where what he says is tremendously suggestive “I find myself”. The dream becomes more and more overwhelming, and Jon feels that he needs a "torch to light the way", which of course he finds, during his fight with Othor. Now let's see Jon finding his “torch to light the way”. The moment that Jon 'remembers' that he needs to 'look for his sword', he sees Mormont with a 'lamp' in hand. That's Jon's “light that brings the dawn”. In fact the NW brothers call the comet that is being seen when they go out in the ranging "Mormont's Torch". But of course, that's not the only thing Jon sees when he's semi-conscious. In the dream, Arthur has a "sad smile", so of course you can see his teeth, which in the duel is Ghost biting the wight. The interesting thing is that Jon is “half conscious”. Jon leaves WF because he feels that there is no place for him (the empty castle of his nightmares), he arrives at the NW where he realizes that this place is not what he thought (the ravens are gone), he spends time with the wildlings (the stables full of bones), then comes the shout to "someone" (Stannis' offer) and then to "anyone" (the pink letter), and of course Jon finds himself in front of the door to the crypts. In fact, when he is killed, he thinks of Ghost, Needle (“stick them with the pointy end”) and he feels cold, as if he was going straight to see the “Old Kings of Winter”. During all this time, since the fight with Othor, Jon never saw that what he was looking for was hanging on his back like is hanging in Arthur’s in this dream, because Longclaw is Ice, at least part of ICE, the "bastard part". Jon's dream is, and always was, as he acknowledges much later, Winterfell, is what he always wanted, and when he falls in the fight, he sees Mormont "groggy from sleep" standing in the doorway. Jon calls his nightmares "the Winterfell dream" what he is seeing is that nightmare ‘transforming’ before his eyes, because Mormont is bringing him the lamp to find himself the crypt, to find his name. He already had the direwolf, Mormont gives him the light to find himself, and then he receives the sword. Jon walks out of the Wall a Stark, whether he knows it or not, and oddly enough, a Stark who appears completely invisible to "The Others," which clearly indicates that there is something special about Jon, that we’ll find out at the end of Ned’s dream. Bael goes to Winterfell to prove that he is brave, but he doesn't, what he proves as I said is that he is a craven, and he proves that by singing. Jon has 2 irrefutable proofs that he is a Stark, Ghost (true) and Longclaw (strong), neither of them 'sings' because Jon never used either of them to prove anything, and that proves that he is brave. Clearly, ICE was reforged and divided in two swords, the one Jon has, 'the bastard', is his father's sword, and from the crypt, the other sword yells at him "this isn't my place". Of course, that sword's place is "singing" with Jon, not hidden in the darkness of the crypt. That is the sword that Jon dreams of, the one that is surely called "Winter Rose" Jon screams in his nightmares that he isn’t a Stark because "being" a Stark implies being born in the male line. That shows Bael's song, the boy is not a Stark while he is Bael's son, until the Lord makes him a Stark. Lyanna, wasn’t technically a Stark because she was clearly married. But Jon's dream was to prove that he was a 'true' Stark and the proof was ICE. Jon burns his hand when fighting Othor and as a result, he has to put “ice in his hand” to calm the tremendous pain he feels. That’s his proof right there. The voice is part of the next riddle, for now let's focus on the eyes because once Ned sees how “the fear had gone” he notices the way she smiles, which is the same thing he notices in Arthur, his smile. Next is “how tightly her fingers had clutched” which obviously leads to the other clue Arthur gives us, the hilt of his sword. One of the shadows that help us with this riddle is the "proud father" Martyn Cassel, his son, like Lyanna, dies in Ned's arms when he is attacked by Jaime Lannister, who is part of our second riddle, the one that helps us to identify Jon's father. But that clearly indicates the link between Jon's sword and his "proud father", because as I said, Jon's dream was that his father would give him a sword to show that he was proud of him. The second shadow is the "faithful" Theo Wull. Once Lyanna dies and spills the "dead and black" petals, Ned's amnesia begins. Clear reference to the NW vows, in which the "faithful" brothers must forget their past and start a new life. The Wulls are part of the mountain clans, and they have a particularity that makes them unique in the north, while in Winterfell they are called "Lord" as Bran recalls "their own folk don't". This detail is fundamental, because like Bael, Jon has two names, the one he was given when he was born, and the one Ned gave him after he “could recall none of it”. Of course, the sword that Ned uses is Dawn, the sword that like Nymeria was 'lost' in the Trident and was never returned as Cat believes, which also explains Lyanna's disappearance, as we’ll see in the next part. Regarding "Ice" that is the sword of the LH legend, that is the sword that 'freezes' when the hero tries to use it, and it’s the one that according to the story told by Nan, "shatters" because as I said, it was divided in two parts, it "bloomed" at Winterfell. That's the clue that Will gives us in the prologue when he sees Waymar die: Jon's real name is hidden in plain sight, because as the song says, Bael and the maiden were "hiding with the dead", the name is in the crypt, and it’s the name of one of the Old Kings that Jon has no fear of. BAEL is made up of four letters, obviously. Three people die in the song: Lord Brandon, the child's mother (Lyanna) and the 'rider' that hides with the maiden. Our maid, (Arya), who of course is not the child's mother, is the one who hides the singer because of their physical resemblance, and this is fundamental in Jon's story. The name therefore begins with the letter E and knowing that part of our clues have to do with Dorne (Nymeria, Arthur and his smile, and Dawn), our 'bastard' was named Edrick by his mother. As the king "Edrick Snowbeard". The 'gift of a sword' doesn't make our Edrick a Mormont or a Targaryen, but it does make him a promise. “Promise me, Ned” The irony is that the other Ned dies looking at a giant statue of Bael, and his feet looking the scene is the maiden Arya, with her "gift of a sword" in hand, which falls along with the bard's head. He was listening to something else The fall of KL and Ser Jaime doing things for love, place us in our next song, “the Dornishman's wife”, in which the woman has a lover who is killed by her husband. The song compares her sweetness to the 'cold steel' of her husband's sword. Also, we must take into account something that Ned thinks in the crypt when he goes there with Robert, about how all swords failed Rickard and how he was forced to watch Brandon die. Beyond the Wall, the NW arrives at the Fist of the First Men where Jon makes a mysterious find in what appears to be a tomb: a NW cloak, a horn that makes no sound when he tries to blow it, and a bunch of weapons made of dragonglass. These findings will be paramount at the end. Let's keep these finds in mind because they are "weapons" that serve us in our own search, considering the scenarios of Ned's dream and those of Jon's nightmares. The black cloak corresponds to the first place referenced in Jon's nightmare, (the Trident in Ned's dream). The horn is a reference to the wildlings, who were looking for the "Horn of Winter", the power that would allow them to bring down the wall, (King's Landing in Ned's dream). The dragonglass is a reference to the maiden and the bard, which corresponds to the last scenario of Ned's dream (Storm's End and Dragonstone). Let's first see the riddle that we must solve and the weapons that we have: These are our clues: · Vows: I am the watcher on the walls – the horn that wakes the sleepers · Sphinx: Will, Oswell Whent, Lyanna Stark · Oswell is on one knee sharpening a blade, while a bat seems about to fly. · Waymar’s left eye that’s blind and is pierced by a piece of sword · Shadows: Ethan Glover, who had been Brandon's squire; Ser Mark Ryswell, soft of speech and gentle of heart. We are looking for a "false brother" that Ned wonders where he is. Gerold tells him “far away”. But we also have a mention of the "seven hells" and those seven hells don’t refer to a geographical location but to the crime that Jaime commits "kingslaying", which is frowned upon everywhere and by all religions, except Melisandre’s apparently. But what Ned doesn't consider, of course, is that the crime Jaime commits actually prevents a worse one, at least from Jaime’s perspective, which is the one that Jaime had to witness, seeing Rickard being burn to death. That is the reason why Jaime kills the king, clearly, beyond the fact that he has also saved millions of people, Jaime was forced to choose between his father and the king, and he chose his father. That's our song, The Dorishman's Wife. Jaime's pure as snow white image was hopelessly ruined the day he was forced to make an impossible choice. Considering that our setting is King's Landing and the mention of Aerys's death, we're looking for Lyanna’s 'false brother', which is not Ned, of course. There are only two possible candidates, Brandon or Benjen. Our shadows are Brandon's "squire" and the gentle Ryswell, whose coat of arms is a black horse with red eyes, like Ghost's. Clearly our search leads us to the younger brother and to the Night's Watch, to the missing Benjen Stark, the gentlest with Jon by far. We'll get to the red eyes in a bit. In Bael's story, we are at the time when the maiden and Bael are hiding with the dead, the time when the Stark line is in imminent danger, and while the "Dornishman" is sleeping with the Dornishman's wife. Now let's talk about our shadows and something that Ned mentions in the dream, how he “wondered” about the false brother. We learn Benjen's name, in the crypt no less, when Ned wants to tell Robert something Benjen says, but the king interrupts him and we can't tell what it is. The next time Ned mentions Benjen, he is wondering something: Yoren arrives at King's Landing practically bursting his horse, for "Benjen's sake" to tell Ned about a kidnapping he saw on the Trident (Tyrion's), and the best thing is what he says to Ned, "I'll bend the knee and cry our need” and see if there's some “scum in the dungeons”, which, as we know, is the place from which Ned goes to his execution . This same brother, Yoren, is the one that later takes Arya out of King's Landing by disguising her as a boy. Let's head back to Jon. In the Fist, Jon meets "Qhorin Halfhand" a ranger who is slow to arrive, like Brandon at his own wedding and who seems to arrive after Jon blows his mute horn, the one that he found on what is seemed to be a tomb. Jon goes on a mission with the ranger who is missing 3 fingers on his right hand, which was his sword hand (the hand Jon burns) and whose description is what one would expect to find in a direwolf that suddenly comes to life. Additionally, the Halfhand wears clothing so worn that it appears grey. In short, Qhorin appears to be Brandon Stark, and of course, he is. Qhorin tells Mormont that he wants to find out what’s ‘the power’ that Mance needs, what’s the sorcery to bring down the Wall, and this happens: The power is “listening” to a man’s last words while you look into his eyes, as we’ve known since the beginning. The one who desperately rides to King's Landing as Yoren, is Benjen, who finds out about the kidnapping and as Yoren, when he is faced with the situation that they are going to execute him, he realizes that his 'need' is something else, as Jamie realized later. If he dies as a hero, there's no one left to go find Lyanna because Brandon lost his sword hand and Ned is ‘far away’. But in addition, Lyanna’s presence in the Trident, is explained with Benjen’s and Brandon himself, Benjen and Lyanna were together going to where Brandon was. The kidnapping, meanwhile, is explained in Arthur's disappearance, they take Lyanna to force Brandon out of wherever he was, because they knew Arthur was going to look for him, because of what happened to Ashara in Harrenhal, and Brandon killed Arthur and lost his fingers in the process. So basically, Rhaegar's fall happens "because of a woman" or rather, by two women, Arthur's sister, and Brandon's sister. In King's Landing and faced with the reality that they are going to execute him, Benjen does the least 'honorable' but the most intelligent thing, he "cry his need" to a brother of the Night’s Watch that 'picks him' from the dungeons. That explains why Waymar's left eye is "blind" and is pierced by a piece of sword, Rickard dies knowing that his "sword" didn’t fail him, (contrary to what Ned thinks), because he didn’t die, (that's not Brandon), and it wasn't his sword either. His sword is intact, because he always had two swords, "the bastard sword" the sneaky Benjen, and the wolf that leads them, Brandon. The sword of the Starks is what I mentioned in the previous part and that Ned dangerously misunderstands, the power they have is family, or rather, the alliances they made. The fall of Ned's family occurs precisely, contrary to what made Rickard's survive, Ned's children begin to separate and think badly of one another, Arya about Sansa, Bran about Robb, Rickon about everyone, and that it is a very clear reflection of something that we see in their parent's own behaviour. Ned doesn't trust anyone, and when he does, he's invariably wrong. Cat despises everything that is different or ‘inferior’ to her, instead of trying to learn from it, she wants it away, like she wanted Jon away from her sight. In Lyanna’s rescue, the opposite happens, Benjen doesn’t hesitate to do something that is supposed to be Brandon's job, but he also doesn’t hesitate to do something that he knows Rickard will forgive him for, basically because Rickard no longer has salvation, but Lyanna does. Benjen arrives at King's Landing, as illustrated by Ryswell's shadow as a horse in heat because that's exactly what he was, like The Mountain’s horse smelling Ser Loras's mare during the Hand’s Tourney. Does that mean that Benjen is Jon's father? Yes absolutely. But that doesn't mean he's a Stark. Benjen's story is the reverse of Jon's. Benjen grew up with the Starks and unlike Jon, he was treated as a Stark down to the name. "Benjen Stark" is a nickname that has to do with the crypt, where there are two kings, "Benjen the Bitter" and "Benjen the Sweet", because the "brother", in addition to having two-colored eyes, blue and grey, as we later found out, is sweet while at Winterfell and completely bitter when at the Wall, far from home. Of course, the "Horn of Winter", the power that Mance was looking for, was blown at Winterfell in Jon's first chapter, and right at Jon’s face: The "horn of Winter" is not something you hear, but something you see: In the next part, we'll guess the two last riddles and find the meaning behind the "Song of Ice & Fire".
  4. Hi everyone! This theory will prove, (hopefully), that Ned's dream is a riddle inside a riddle that’s guarded by a gargoyle. This is the first of a 3 part theory. In Oedipus story, the hero (Oedipus) is a symbol of the self-fulfilling prophecy, a prophecy that includes incest, kinslaying, lies, betrayals, in short, several of the fun ingredients that makes ASOIAF a very tangled story. But what interests us most about that story is the sphinx, a monster that poses riddles to those who want to go across the path that that monster guards. If the traveler answers correctly, he can pass, otherwise he dies devoured. That path, as we’ll see, is what Aemon called “the path of honor”, and guards one of the 3 main reasons why people lose their honor: love, power, and hate, represented of course by our three “heads”: Stark, Lannister, and Targaryen. In the tower dream, if you pay attention to the guards, you’ll see that they look like a sphinx, that Ned gives riddles, and that answering those riddles takes us further down the road until we must fight a duel with Dayne. That’s the final test. In other words, we're looking at a massive Doyle-esque crime scene that we can only solve if we find evidence, a body, and a motive. To solve these riddles, we have to take into account the following: The Map: Ned reached the tower, so, he clearly followed a path, then he finds himself in front of these 3 guards, that are actually three and one at the same time. The first thing that the dream hides is that we must follow 3 different paths to guess the 3 riddles. We’ll find ‘treasures’ by following the path that leads to the places mentioned in the dream: 1. The Trident 2. King's Landing 3. Storm's end and Dragonstone We can’t go from one place to another if we don’t first find what’s hidden in the previous one. But we have a help, Waymar’s resurrection scene. In that scene in which the knight who looked like a Stark comes to life "changed", hides 2 indications that help us to uncover the main riddles: a. One of Waymar’s eye, the left one, ends up white (blind) and with a piece of sword pocking b. The other eye the right one, burns blue and “sees” The gargoyle: a gargoyle is a monster that is set in stone during the day, but when night comes, it ‘wakes up’ and leaves the tower that guards. In other words, it’s a “watcher on the walls”. When dawn comes, the gargoyle has to return to the tower before the sun's rays touches its skin, because that’s what turns it back to stone, and the gargoyle is doomed to watch the tower. That’s exactly what the 3 guards that are guarding the dream tower represent. • Arthur is “the light that brings the dawn” obviously. But in addition, he’s the only one of the three whose face is mentioned, or rather the "sad smile", Dayne helps us solve a bittersweet riddle that has to do with the Trident. Arthur's sword hilt is clearly seen poking over his right shoulder, so to find the treasure that Arthur keeps, we have to pay attention to Waymar's right eye, the one that "sees" and burns blue. • Oswell is on one knee sharpening a sword, while the black bat on his helm looks like about to fly. To solve the riddle that Whent poses we are going to need to pay attention to Waymar's left eye and visit KL. • Hightower is standing fierce in the middle, with no sword in sight. The LC saves the last path, which includes Storm's end and Dragonstone. To find the treasure that the LC hides, we are going to help ourselves from poor Waymar's ‘new life’, represented by his tattered clothes and ruined face. Our guides: in the dream, Ned is accompanied by 6 friends that he vowed never to forget. Those men keep quiet during the entire dream. Those shadows are in fact our friends but using them to our advantage requires us to remember, because as Aemon said, “knowledge is a weapon”. The 6 shadows are our weapon to find the truth. We are going to need 2 shadows for each riddle, which have nothing to do with the people that are mentioned by name in the dream, those people are dead. All we need from the shadows is to remember them. The Sphinx: In order to solve the riddles, we must take into account something that Aemon said on his way to Old Town: the shpinx is the riddle, not the riddler. The riddler is Ned, the sphinx is part of our clues. Our sphinx is hidden within the NW oath that I'm going to talk about in a moment, because it's key to solving the dream. The Riddles: We need to solve 3 riddles, one for each gargoyle on each path, and solving them requires us to sing 3 songs: • Bael's song: the visible face of this sphinx is Arthur, and the secret we are looking for is to the right, to the west, from Bael’s point of view. • The Dornishman's Wife: the face of this sphinx is Whent, and the secret we seek is to the east, from Lyanna’s point of view, coming from the north, as Bael. • The song of Ice & fire: the face is Hightower, and the secret is in front of us, scattered like ‘a rain of needles’. Before entering this hostile territory, filled with traps and monsters, we must arm ourselves with some knowledge, and keep in mind some things we know. Our first riddle is Bael's song, that song is about something that is hidden in the crypt of Winterfell and finally comes to light. To understand this riddle made song, we need to pay attention to Jon's nightmares and as I said, Waymar's right eye that burns blue. Our visible face is Arthur. We already have 2 parts of the sphinx that makes the riddle, we’ll need to find our third. This song begins the moment that Ned visits the crypt with Robert Baratheon and mentions how the 3 Starks died, which I'll talk about when we get there, but for now, let's keep in mind that Brandon Stark died without being able to grab his sword, that in Arthur you see the hilt sticking out, and that Waymar's sword breaks. Therefore, our sphinx is made up of these three “watchers”: Brandon Stark – Waymar Royce – Arthur Dayne The second riddle, “The Dornishman's wife”, is about a love triangle in which the husband kills his wife's lover, who dies laughing because his goal, "testing" the Dornishman's wife, has already been fulfilled. Keep in mind that it is Arthur who is smiling in this dream, which implies that this story is related to the previous one. This song begins to be sung when Jon receives "the gift of a sword" which he feels does not belong to him because he is not a Mormont or Aemon Targaryen. That’s what seems to be our love triangle, is Jon Ned’s son or Rhaegar’s? Of course, we need to consider another Stark from the crypt, Lyanna, who is the vital ‘head’ we need to solve the riddle that is the bastard of Winterfell. In the map that poor Waymar becomes, this song’s riddle is solved with the ranger's blind eye being pierced by a piece of sword, again, references to the love triangle Aemon (blind), Mormont (sword) and Jon (the woman). This sphinx is made up by these three watchers: Lyanna Stark – Will – Oswell Whent The last riddle, “The song of Ice & Fire” is the culmination of the previous two, and helps us find the treasure hidden in the tower. This song, which is the one we are 'hearing' is the song of the 'Last Hero', the last dragon and the last Stark of Winterfell. Hightower, the visible face of this song is “standing fierce” like a hero, but with no sword in sight, so something is clearly missing. By the time we get to sing this song, which occurs around the same time that in Ned's dream the duel begins, the bastard of Winterfell has been walking the path of honor with every choice he's made since his watch started. Until the time comes when he has to make one last choice, like in Dany’s fever dream when she awakens dragons. The “bastard letter” is Jon’s “fever” call, and we’ll find out what he chose once we sing this song. The Pink Letter presents Jon with a choice, look back or move forward. That letter is Jon's "lightbringer," a blood-tempered "sword", will he clasp it? Or let it rust away to nothing? The clues we need to solve this riddle, which is by far the most difficult, are scattered throughout all the novels, like a "rain of needles" and of course, we cannot solve it without first having found the pieces of the previous two because we need the weapons we find in the other songs. This is Bael’s and the Dornishman's Wife song coming to a conclusion. The sphinx posed by this Riddle is made up of these three watchers: Hightower – Gared – Rickard Stark The Sphinx is the riddle There's a great scene in ACoK where Jon goes to find Sam who was reading, and Sam tells him “this vault is a treasure, Jon” which makes Jon doubtful, because he thinks that treasure “means gold, silver and jewels, not dust, spiders and rotting letter”. Of course, it all depends on what you are interested in finding. Something similar happens with Ned's dream, it is a treasure, but one made of dust, spiders, and rotting leather, under the appearance of “gold, silver and jewels”. Ned's dream poses a scenario: “3 Knights in white cloaks, and a tower long fallen, and Lyanna in her bed of blood”. It is understood that the tower of the dream is the "Tower of Joy", located in the mountains of Dorne, in the south. The curious thing, and this is one of the clues to understand this dream, is that when Ned sets the stage, he talks about Lyanna and her 'bed of blood', which we assume is Jon being born, and yet she’s not part of the dream, except for the one word she yells: Eddard. This seemingly minimal detail is in fact the key to the riddle that’s Bael’s song. Let's reexamine the scenario Ned presents us with: 3 knights in white cloaks, AND, a tower long fallen, AND Lyanna in her bed of blood. Let us now examine the first part of the Night's Watch oath, the one that lays out the rules that must be followed by men who want to join such a noble brotherhood: Let's start at the beginning, "Night gathers, and now my watch begins" Ned is arriving accompanied by 6 shadows, clearly that is the night gathered, those are our brothers, the ones I mentioned before are the ones that are going to help us solve the puzzle that is hidden in the dream. Then the vow says “my watch begins” which is exactly what we are going to do, watch. But we need to be very careful, because this story is told from personal point of views and therefore, what they see, many times will collide with reality, against the cold prove that the text provide and that’s what we are looking for, the "clics" like Old Nan needles. The “night gathered” is the cold and deadly black ink in the text. Let's move on, "it shall not end until my death", what we are looking for is people that is alive at the beginning of the novels, not the people that the dream names, those are dead, what we are looking for are people that has no name or rather, ‘wears’ a different identity that cloaks them. The following 3 promises are the scenario of this dream: take no wife (the sworn men), hold no lands (the long fallen tower), father no children (Lyanna in her bed of blood), and the promises that are behind our first two riddles. The last two promises: “I shall wear no crowns and win no glory. I shall live and die at my post” are part of the last song, (the song of ice and fire) that we know roughly what’s about since AGoT, because that’s what the legend of the ‘Night's King and his corpse queen” tells. To understand Ned's dream, we must also consider the finding that Jon and Ghost made in the "Fist of the first man": a black cloak, a horn that apparently makes no sound, and dragonglass or 'frozen fire', all things that are obviously related to the NW but especially to the "Long Night", the very reason that explains the Night's Watch existence. By the time Lyanna disappeared, Lord Rickard had 3 'knights': Brandon, Eddard and Benjen. At the end of the war, Ned is the "last man standing", Lord Brandon’s 'true heir', just like in Bael’s song. Upon death, each Stark is taken to the crypt that, curiously, like the tower of the dream, collapsed. No one to goes to the crypt’s lower levels because apparently, they “collapsed” so we don’t know the 'treasure' that’s below. Of course, the 'treasure' are dead kings and vengeful spirits, like in the Night's King legend. When Bran goes down to the crypt, after dreaming of Ned's death, he tells Osha that Brandon and Lyanna shouldn't have statues, which brings to mind the attack on Bran and what the killer repeats to Cat like an idiot, that she 'shouldn't be there'. Which is relevant to both Brandon and Lyanna, as we’ll see. Regarding Lyanna’s disappearance, there is a detail that always caught my attention because unlike what happens in the real world, that every time a woman disappears, especially a rape victim, the first thing that everybody does is question the victim, asking questions like “what was she wearing” that curiously the dream seems to answer: a white cloak. But in Lyanna's case, it seems that no one wondered what Lyanna was doing on the Trident. Of course, the only proof we have is Ned's word, (what this dream tells), but as we know, "words are wind", and that is precisely what we see, the guards’ cloaks that are "blowing in the wind”. Worse, Ned himself later confirms, that he forgot many things because words, and even promises, are often forgotten, even those “he has vowed never to forget”. What this dream seems to relate to is the very image that Waymar offers us arriving at the ridge to do what needs to be done because he is clearly surrounded by cowards and useless fools that tell him a story that defies logic, and that’s exactly what “the song of the tower” seems to be, there’s no logic behind what Rhaegar and Lyanna allegedly did. That song, with Rhaegar evident victim of ‘some madness’, Lyanna completely speechless before, during, and after what happens, and 3 very exemplary Kingsguards, is a song that smells quite a lot like misogyny, and a lot like something Ned would make out of something he partially knows. We seen him doing it, twice. But also, is a song that involves 5 ‘shadows’ who are dead, about people that cannot give their vision of things, unlike the prologue, where we are presented by different opinions. Another detail that goes completely unnoticed, and this also goes hand in hand with what I mentioned about misogyny, is that in most cases, for everything that Ned mentions, the one that answers is Hightower, which clearly indicates that the Lord Commander 'speaks with the voice' of whoever is in the tower, who of course is not allowed to speak, although what the LC says doesn't make much sense. Ned, for his part, speaks on behalf of the shadows that came with him, and that also maintain a very respectful silence, they don’t seem to have an opinion, like the NW brothers. I already mentioned a few interesting details about the dream and of course, is the small details that will help us find the truth, because the story that hides inside the dream is not even remotely as white as the tower we find, to what is seen on the surface, but there are treasures hidden between a lot of rotten leather that in the end, will make that tower to collapse. In the prologue, Waymar realizes that the scene is wrong, that what Will is telling doesn’t make sense because it defies logic, his logic, a logic that becomes evident when Waymar comes up with an alternative explanation using the exact same elements that Will used to arrive to a completely different conclusion. Waymar then, as I mentioned above, decides to go personally to examine the bodies, so we are looking for "ghosts", people we thought were dead or didn't even know existed, which is consistent considering that the NW "watches the night". That obviously brings to mind the moment when Robert asked to go to the crypt. When the king sees Lyanna's statue, he defies the image he sees portrayed just as Waymar challenged Will's description of the wildlings' bodies. Whether or not Lyanna was in fact more beautiful than what her statue shows, is a completely subjective question, which of course depends on who is looking, but the statue doesn’t change because of that, reality will remain the same. We’ve seen a situation like this play out with the wildlings and the NW. While Jon sees them as “just people”, some of his brothers think of them as “monsters”, none of them can change reality, the wildlings are what they are. A Tower Long Fallen “The tower of Joy” is rounded, (like the First Keep in Winterfell), and behind the tower are the "red mountains" of Dorne. That the tower is rounded implies an idea that we saw in the prologue "we should start back" the tower has no end, like, apparently, the crypt of Winterfell that goes on beyond the point marked by the latest statues. The outer part of the crypt is the one I mentioned, the FK, that's what you see on the surface, crowned by faceless creatures, but the "treasure", the most important thing about WF is kept underneath, and what is kept and cared for, is "the line of Starks". That line, completely masculine and martial, rests against a wall, like all the watchers in this dream, no matter the color of the cloak. In the dream the tower leans to against the red mountains. Red of course makes us think of blood, and besides, the last thing Ned sees before losing consciousness and having this dream are the stones of the Red Keep that the rain turned blood red. Of course, "the line of the Starks" is ‘supported’ by the blood of those people who had the honor of being a 'watcher' since their lineage is the right one. The First Keep is crowned by gargoyles, which is not a common ornament in Westeros, in fact, it is only found in 2 places, Winterfell and Dragonstone, a place that is mentioned in the dream and that obviously makes us think of opposite things, like ice and fire. We know that the Others only attack at night (like a gargoyle), and that at dawn they “disappear”. We also know that The Others have only attacked or been seen on 2 occasions, during the Long Night, and during the reign of the NK. We have no idea what happened in the LN, but we do know that the NK's story includes a "corpse queen", a Stark, and the "Horn of Winter". Those three things lead us back to the NW second promise: “I shall take no wife, hold no lands, father no children.” • No Wife: Corpse Queen • No lands: Winterfell • No children: the horn of winter / the blood The culprit: ‘The King’, the unnamed hero or villain, depending on where you're standing. The oath of the Night's Watch is an essential guide to understand not only this dream but several hidden gems, including Jon's death, because that oath hides the three reasons why people commit crimes: love, power, vengeance. Bael's song, which is the first song that we are going to examine to understand what Jon's mystery is about, clearly has to do with love. As told by Ygritte, from Bael's point of view, the song says that in battle the father cannot kill the son and wants us to believe that he allowed the kid to kill him instead, while he was attacking the kid for no reason at all. What his actions, not his words, prove instead is that he completely forgot about the maiden and any consequences of his actions. Fatherhood is a choice as Robert can confirm. This story is also told entirely from a male point of view, in fact the first two songs are told by man, and the women don't even have names. That male vision of things makes us lose sight of the other choices, first those of the maiden, who is taken as a captive to a place full of swords, which seems to indicate that she is there of her own free will. The same can be said of the NW, they stay at the Wall by choice, because "the world ends" at the Wall and all castles have a gate that crosses to the other side. You can go to that side and be completely free, you can choose to stay and serve, or you can choose to run away and maybe die, but the choices are there. This is perfectly illustrated in what Mormont says to Jon as they leave Craster's Keep, while Craster sleeps drunk, there's a sharp axe on his board, those women have options. One of those women actually, has the initiative to run away, which brings us to the next topic. The second choice that the song seems to overlook, is that the maiden chooses to lie down to sleep in her own bed with her baby, clearly, she is not ashamed of her situation or that of her son. This flatly rules out the possibility that, as Jon believes, his origin is a "dark" story, it might not be white as snow, but clearly isn’t black either. The maiden enjoys her motherhood in plain sight, she neither hides nor does anything to hide the baby. That brings us to the third choice, the one Lord Brandon makes, which is to skip the mother and name that baby Lord Stark, as if the mother didn't exist. Which of course makes him no better than Bael. All the characters had choices, Bael chose to run away and come back with a sword in hand, the maiden chose to hide Bael and to be a mother, and Lord Brandon chose to obliterate the mother from the story. This is the story of the “corpse queen” and the things we do for love. Who Are You? The second part of the Night's Watch vows are the ones that turn each and every one of the brothers into a single blade. A ‘brotherhood’ requires at least two people, and that's exactly what the NW votes show. Two things: lights and shadows against a wall. a. I am the sword in the darkness – the light that brings the dawn Waymar Royce – Arthur Dayne – Brandon Stark To solve this sphinx riddle, we are going to sing Bael’s song, so we’ll need to visit Winterfell’s crypt as seen by Jon (in nightmares) and Ned (in dreams). b. I am the watcher on the walls – the horn that wakes the sleepers Will – Oswell Whent – Lyanna To find the ‘naked steel’ or better put, the identity of Jon's father and why he completely disappeared, we’ll need to use the "Horn of Winter". Here, we're going to sing the "Dornishman's wife" song, to find out if she's the 'whore' that Ned's silences seem to imply, or the kind-eyed woman that Jon stubbornly dreams of. The motive here is power, the power to "wake giants." To find out who our ‘bastard sword’ really is, we must pay attention to Waymar's left eye, the one that’s white (blind) and has a sword sticking out. c. I am the fire that burns against the cold – the shield that guards the realms of men Gared – Gerold Hightower – Rickard Stark This is “The Song of Ice & Fire”, and we’ll need “frozen fire” to sing it correctly. This is the song that has it all: love, power and revenge. I am going to make a couple of comments about this second part of the NW oath that’s so filled by identities, 12 obviously, because we are looking for the “last men standing” the King, the 13th LC and his corpse queen. The second part of the oath, the one that answers the existential question 'who are you?' is symbolized in two of my favorite parts of the novels, the first, is the moment in which Cat tells us what a strange people these northerners are. Of course, Cat, like most of us I think, didn't exactly grasped what the Starks' words were about until Ned explains it to Arya: The Stark banner displays a lone wolf running on the ice which, as Ned points out, translates to the idea that "the lone wolf dies." Ned’s mistake was to believe that the "pack" is made up of Starks only. No one can survive alone. That is why the legendary hero goes out with 12 people, and a horse and a dog. The sword breaks the moment he is left all alone. So, when Ned says on his visit to the crypt that the Starks ‘had sworn allegiance to no men’ he was dangerously wrong. The Starks survived because of their alliances, not despite them, that's what he is telling Arya (likely because someone told him) that "in winter" you have to protect others and share your strengths. In the north, winter means death, “winter” is the time they go to war, because as we’ve seen since we’ve known them, the north is always cold. But the Stark words illustrate something else, that explains why the wolf has one eye, and that’s something that Ned explained to Bran, "Winter is coming", that’s a promise, at some point you are going to die, what matters is what you do before winter comes for you. You can close your eyes to reality and die without facing it, like Robert, or you can open them and face the things that are not as you expected, like Viserys and his golden crown. But you need to choose. Of course, there’s always a third option, but that option requires that you accept the other's point of view, even, or specially, if you don't like it. The second place where we can see what winter really means and what it’s like to face a war being completely alone as the Last Hero, is when Jon is trying to rescue the wildlings trapped at Hardhome: It is extremely curious how Jon never realizes that those things he mentions are precisely his virtues, all of them ‘tempered’ by the men he mentions, those are the shadows that ‘walk’ with Jon, the sixth of course is Ghost. Those are his “white walkers”. His absolute blindness is of course related to Jon's own ‘black’ image of himself, symbolized in the most questionable act he had to do, asking Gilly to left her baby in order to save Mance's baby's life. Here, I want to bring up another point that has to do with his request to Gilly, Jon is never completely sure if Gilly took the right baby or the wrong one, because he had never paid any attention to them. The underlying issue here is again the issue of choices, Gilly could choose. Jon explained the situation to her and told her what needed to be done, but he clearly left it up to her to decide and that is something he learned from Qhorin. Wheather he realized or not, Jon chose Gilly for the exact same reason that Qhorin chose him for the mission they faced, of Craster's 19 wives, Gilly was the only one who realized that there was a third option, she didn't have to settle for living a horrible life or kill Craster, there was another way. When she realized, she decided to act, and to achieve her goal she accepted help, even from dead people. That is what the statues of the crypt symbolize, the dark and cold place symbolizes winter, the king is sitting against a wall because he has something to lean on, he is protected while he protects. This is the hero's horse leading him to war. The wolf at his feet that keeps him warm is the family that watches over the land and its people like a faithful dog. The sword is the strength. Eventually those swords "rust away" and comes a time when another 'hero' must take its place. If any of those 3 things fail, the tower collapses, as Ned's family so colorfully proved. The lord is vigilant, 'naked steel in hand' with the wolf at his feet. That is a promise. Winter is coming. Whoever visits the crypt and faces those Lords must understand that even if the statue remains seated, with its knees bending, it is only a matter of time until it rises. The sword is in charge of keeping the "vengeful spirits" calm and seated, but spirits in the plural, it is not about keeping the peace or justice of the Stark, but of the north, even when the problem is a Stark, that is exactly what the Wall exists for, so justice can reach those who deserve it, no matter who they are. Now, we are ready to sing, in the next part :)
  5. But why would Rheagar go all the way up his family tree looking for dragonseed when he had his mother Rhaella who was part of the prophecy? If he needed a woman to had a kid and dragonseed as you claim, then Rhaella was by far his best option.
  6. But wouldn't Ashara Dayne be closer related to Rhaegar? Aemon had a Dayne mother, right?
  7. Thanks! I honestly come here mostly to talk about these things, even if I'm wrong
  8. Hi! Hope you’re doing great, this is not a theory (yet), just some thoughts I have about the north that I wanted to share, and see what you think, and hopefully get some input. I’m far behind in my re-reading of the novels, so surely, I’ll miss a lot of details by just remembering what I read a while back, and looking for the quotes, instead of doing it the other way around. Sorry about that. Also, this ended up being much longer that I intended, sorry about that too! Here’s the thing, the novels start from the Starks point of view, so everything we see is clearly influenced by the way they feel about things, and that’s especially true about Ned’s feelings for Robert. Robert snorted. “Bogs and forests and fields, and scarcely a decent inn north of the Neck. I’ve never seen such a vast emptiness. Where are all your people?” “Likely they were too shy to come out,” Ned jested. He could feel the chill coming up the stairs, a cold breath from deep within the earth. “Kings are a rare sight in the north.” Robert snorted. “More likely they were hiding under the snow. Snow, Ned!” The king put one hand on the wall to steady himself as they descended." Eddard I – AGoT This quote has led many people to believe that what Ned says, “Kings are a rare sight”, and what Robert answers “More likely they were hiding under the snow. Snow, Ned” means that Jon is a trueborn Targaryen, and it could be that of course, but I think that in that quote is the first indication that there’s something funny going on in the north, and that the rare sight and the emptiness are key here. There are other interesting things in this quote, that I personally missed on my first read, this is Ned’s first chapter and of course, up until that point, we’ve never seen any other northerner, so the comment he makes that “likely they were too shy” goes unnoticed until we meet this people. And clearly, they are not shy. The other very interesting thing here is how the king has to “put one hand on the wall to steady himself as they descended” because it’s clear that Robert is already very drunk, and of course, one could think that he became an alcoholic while being king, which is exactly what that chapter suggests, but we find out later that he was already a drunkard and a mess when he was very young, he won a drinking contest at Harrenhal when he was barely eighteen or so, and had a bastard being much younger than that. So, the point here is that while Ned saw absolutely nothing wrong in bending the knee to that guy that had no other skills than being drunk all the time and unhorsing men on melees, the rest of the northerner lords could have other ideas. “Aye,” said Lord Bracken. (..) What have we fought for, if we are to put all back as it was before?” Catelyn XI When Robb is proclaimed king, it all started with Cat saying that Robb should agree to Joffrey’s terms and exchange their four Lannister prisoners for her two daughters, and of course the men refused. The first one that speaks is Karstark, and what he says about his sons, and what Braken adds “what have we fought for, if we are to put all back as it was before” made sense at that point but especially during the "War of the usurper”. The Starks had lost three members of their family, and not 'some' member but the Lord and his heir, and at least four other northern families lost their heirs too, Dustin, Ryswell, Glover, and Wull. But when the war ended, the north went back to business as usual, they gained absolutely nothing from that war. None of those families, except the Glovers, sent a big force with Robb, in fact the Wull’s, as far as I remember, are not even mentioned. We found out later that the Dustins and Ryswells are all in with Roose, but the Wulls aren’t. It’s not clear if Roose always planned to betray the Starks, I honestly can’t remember, I believe that it was Robb’s marriage and Karstark’s beheading what changes things, please correct me if I’m wrong. When Jon sends Stannis to the Mountains so he can, as Jon suggested, get Deepwood Motte back, all the clans join his army, and out of nowhere, Alysane Mormont also showed up there. Alysane’s presence there is weird, the Mormont’s had declared not long before that, that they knew no king in the north but A STARK, so it’s clear that at that point something is going on in the north, there are great theories about this, but I think that it started long before. At least the idea of a “better king” is old. What Umber says here is as applicable to this war as to the one before. He says that the Baratheons are nothing to him, which of course is as true to Robert’s brothers as it was to Robert himself. Robert fought the war because the king asked for his head, not for Lyanna. That’s one of the biggest lies ever told. Up until the moment that Aerys demanded Ned’s and Robert’s heads, none of them did anything, not even looking for her. Robert’s gods were as wrong as his brothers' gods, that’s clear, there was nothing that made Robert a great choice for a king, except that Ned loved him. So, when Umber asks “why shouldn’t we rule ourselves again?” I suspect that he wasn’t the first to wonder that, and worse, when he says “it was the dragons we married” he’s clearly saying that Ned’s “wedding” to Robert has nothing to do with him, is one thing to “marry” a fearful enemy that has the ability to destroy your army in one single battle, and another to “marry” a guy you share absolutely nothing with. AGoT starts with this great character, Waymar, (that looks like a Stark) that seems to be heading straight to stardom, but then dies tragically. He raises again “changed” with blue eyes, and I think that among other things, that points to the fact that for the north all they did was change the names, but not their reality. Having Robert as king made sense if Lyanna was queen, but it made no sense to bend the knee to a southron ignorant that knew nothing, or care nothing about the north. In fact, Robert spends fifteen very long years in the throne without so much as set eyes on Winterfell, let alone the Wall, and that’s exactly what the first quote implies, “Kings are a rare sight in the north”. Even when Ned was the king’s best buddy, the Wall, or rather the Night’s Watch was falling to pieces and apparently, he doesn’t do much about it except some discussions he has with Benjen. Worse, the north and Ned’s marriage were pivotal to allow him to get that throne and he never even went there until he needed something. In Cat’s first chapter is clear that Mance has been a problem for a while, that the raiding’s are getting bolder, and the rangers are dying in an alarming rate, yet Ned doesn’t seem concerned. Of course, Ned doesn’t live as close to the Wall as the mountain clans, or the Umbers, or the Karstarks. The Wall is their main concern because their smallfolk and their women relies on the NW. “The King in the North!” When Robert says Snow, Ned! I honestly think is this what it means, what Maege says, the “King of Winter”, Kings were not a rare sight in the north, there’s a crypt full of them, right on Ned's face, on the contrary, the Starks were always kings, what was rare and likely scared them were dragons, so of course they knelt, but at least they negotiated first, Ned on the other hand… I mentioned at the beginning that this phrase: "More likely they were hiding under the snow. Snow, Ned" seems to me an indication of 'something', and the thing is that Jon remembers Robb with snow melting on his head, which is a very clear parallel to Viserys, and of course to the fact that what was "hiding" was the idea of a new king, a true king, born in the right place, that believed in the right gods, and that understood the people he ruled. I also believe that when the north knelt to the dragons, they did it bidding their time, waiting for a chance to rise again, that’s hinted in the prologue, Waymar rises when Will goes for his sword and heavily hinted in what the wildlings represent, the old blood, what the north likely looked like before the dragons. The shouting when Robb is proclaimed king also made me think about Jon’s announcement on the Shieldhall when he declares that he’s going for Ramsey, not because he killed Stannis, and not because he has Mance on a cage, but because is a matter of principle, Ramsey called him a craven. Aside from the very clear parallel to Bael’s song there are also very clear parallels to both wars. Brandon went straight to KL like a mad man demanding blood, because what Rhaegar did was call the Starks cravens. Ramsey demanded a bunch of people in exchange of not bothering Jon or his crows, and that’s what Rhaegar did, took Lyanna and apparently expected no trouble from Winterfell, so clearly, he must have thought them cravens. People die in wars all the time, so if you must go to war, at least make a point so people won’t mess with you again. The Starks made absolutely no point. Joffrey did exactly what the Targaryens did, and the northern lords did what Ned should have done 15 years before, make it worth, if a lot of people had to die, at least they should die for something, for the rare sight of ruling themselves again.
  9. I honestly find hard to believe that a Stark and King would agree to marry a bastard's daughters, but of course I could be wrong, I honestly never thought much about the history behind each family except for some legends, so I'm no place to argue with you that clearly invested a lot time and thought into this.
  10. Hi! thanks for your comments! I'm not sure where did you get that Mya Rivers was Melantha Blackwood's mother, could you please share your source? Thanks! Likely the Blackwoods are related to both the Starks and the Targaryens, but that's far from incest. Of course I don't think that Rhaegar is his father, because most of the clues come from what people in the novels think, and they are wrong in a LOT of stuff, for instance, what they think of the wildlings, or what they think being a warg is, and so on. But of course, we'll have to wait. Thanks again!!
  11. You know, I always found weird that Jon saw Benjen's death in his "mind eye" while Bran was in a coma, he sees that when Benjen leaves, but once Bran wakes up seems like Jon looses whatever power he had until he goes to the mountains and has his "tree dream" which of course seems like Ned's tower dream, you have the tower (men from the shadow tower), the tree with a face (Hightower the white standing fierce) and of course the mountains. As for the Brandon I added that in a response before. The thing is most of Ned's children are still alive and the only way for Jon to get WF is either be proclaimed (like in the TV show) which I find unlikely, or be posed as Brandon's son, therefore with a better claim than his cousins.
  12. Thank you so much for your kindness and great input! I agree with you that Brienne has some weird parallels with the others, and likely her oath to Cat has something to do here. Unfortunately, I haven't read the novellas, so I would trust your judgement there! Just a minor observation, isn't Flowers a name from the Reach? I could definitely be wrong here, I'm obsessed with the north so..haha As for Mance, yes! absolutely I agree that the "shadowcat" is Cat, I can't remember when, but at some point Jon thinks that he's afraid that Ghost would think to face a shadowcat, because it would be dangerous even for a direwolf. That thought always made me smile because Cat was more dangerous to her family than any enemy. Thanks again!!!
  13. Hello! Thank you very much for your comment. Honestly, the thing with the incest is something I thought about a lot because it didn't make much sense to me either, but R+L never seemed right either. “The search for the father” began because, in my opinion, being Rhaegar’s son added absolutely nothing to the story, on the contrary, we would be in the presence of a Romeo and Juliet-type story that we have already seen ad nauseam and that, for instance, it wouldn’t explain at all why 8 people die in the tower of joy, just as Ned dreams it or what The Others have to do with all this. But mostly because as the show proved, it’s just lame. The Others, like the dragons, are a "different" race, not entirely human, and I think it's a way of emphasizing the superiority that Cat thinks she has. She believes that her children are better than Jon just because they are trueborn, and all the time she has to put up with the bastard not only looking more like Ned, but being better than Robb in a lot of things, and that clearly hurts her. Not to mention how it must hurt her that Ned had loved another woman maybe more than he loved her. What does it add to the story that Jon is the result of an incestuous relationship and not a promised prince? First, it would put him on the same level as the rest of the "heroes" in this story, the rest of the "princes", but it would also add a lot to Ned’s couple since their marriage grew at the shadow of a lie that Ned told not so much for Lyanna, but rather for Robert. I think the “Shadow Tower” at the Wall is a great clue about this. Friendship, and especially friendship between men with their (sometimes a bit ridiculous) codes, is a subject little explored in the novels, the only clear example is the friendship between Jon and Sam, and he becomes very distressed when he finds out that Jon switched Gilly's baby for Mance's. One of the things he says about that child is that clearly nobody cares in the least what happens to him, except his mother, because the baby is nothing more than an "abomination" born of incest. Now, if that were Jon’s own story, if Benjen is his father, we would have not only a father who cares, but one who does a lot of wrong things for the right reasons, like saying "son" to him on his face and in a place where Ned and Robert were. More importantly, we would have a father who does things that one would expect to see from a mother. There are almost no loving fathers in this story, much less fathers willing to do anything for their children. I think that's interesting to see. I think there are several indications in Ned's chapters that Jon's birth is something he doesn't want to talk about because of what it would mean for Robert and Cat, not Jon, the strongest indication is when he confronts Cersei, and she tells him that she would do anything for her children. As I said, there are plenty of mothers in this story, but few fathers willing to go to extreme limits for a son, those are things one expects from a woman, but almost never from a man. We have to keep in mind that, for Ned, Robert is a brother and surely, having grown up together and in a strange place for both of them, they have had a much closer relationship than Ned had with Benjen, for example. Then there is the issue of hate, Ned finds it irrational that Robert still hates Rhaegar 15 years later because clearly, Ned forgot his own grudge. Once Lyanna died and Benjen joined the NW, Ned forgot all about it because it was clearly the healthiest thing for him and his family, so he doesn't understand why the king keeps insisting on a topic that, in Ned's opinion, is done. It is completely forgetting about that subject that allowed Ned to build a home with Cat and a fairly healthy family, quite the opposite of the king's family or Viserys with his grudges. Clearly that's not to say that Benjen has forgotten or forgiven, and I think that's also very interesting to see, the Starks are supposed to be the best at revenge, you don’t use “winter is coming” as your words because you’re all nice and forgiving, and personally I would very much like to read a story of a revenge well-planned and better executed. If, as I believe, Jon is posed as Brandon's son, then we would be in the presence of an absolutely ruthless revenge in which neither Benjen nor Jon ever gets their hands blooded. Those who go to war are "the others", those who declare independence are "the others", those who bleed are "the others" and once they are as wounded as Jon was in Winterfell, "Brandon" shows up to finish them off. Ned's white reputation is done, and so any dispute over Winterfell, and of course, "The Others" disappear from history again, except for one woman, the "corpse queen" Arya, with whom the LC was in love. Sorry for this eternal answer! But I really love to talk about this!
  14. In AGOT’s prologue, when Gared tells Waymar that they need a fire, the young ranger is pissed because he doesn’t want the wildlings to know they are there. While a fire can be good to keep some “things” away, is also very good to let them know where you are. Like Qhorin told Jon, sometimes a fire can be the difference between life and death. Let’s talk about fire and Lightbringer, the red sword of heroes. Plural. Legend claims that it takes three attempts to make the sword, the first time, Azor Ahai does the classic tempering in water, the second he hunts a lion, and the third he uses his wife’s blood. The most interesting seems to be the last attempt, because apparently it requires a special type of blood. In the legend, Azor Ahai called his wife and asked her to bare her breast, and she did so willingly. That’s where Waymar comes in. Waymar the ranger from the prologue was a Royce, and they are a peculiar family because instead of a family sword, they have a family armor that’s supposed to be magical. Waymar also had a peculiar look, because he had the “look of a Stark”, in fact he looked like Jon, and looking a certain way, makes you think of an armor, like Renly’s ghost. You don’t really know what’s inside. When Will said that the wildlings were dead, that he saw them, as far as Gared was concerned, that was it, but Waymar insisted. He wanted to know why eight grown men apparently just died. And right there is our path to the sword, in the three things that Waymar mentions: Lightbringer is a sword that “makes its own heat” which is basically one of the things that Waymar mentions, the “means of making fire”. But making its own heat doesn’t mean burning things**,** it’s about what Ned told Arya about wolves and winter: Men clad in fur and leather Waymar tells Gared to stay behind, while he goes with Will to examine the dead wildlings, but when they get there, they are gone, so Royce orders Will to climb a tree and look for a fire. As we know, Will ends up looking how his ‘brother’ Waymar is killed. Will had been scared all day because he felt that “something cold and implacable” had been watching him and assumed that Gared felt it too. The ‘thing’ he feels watching him is Waymar, he had the “cold eyes” of a Stark, and of course he was implacable. He even says so, he’s not going back a failure, he wants to find these men. Waymar faces the Other and gets brutally murdered, but the weirder thing happens once he falls because the five “Others” that stood there just watching the entire thing, proceed to, very coldly, thrust their swords on Waymar’s blood like if they were tempering their blades on the ranger’s blood. That’s exactly what they were doing. Royce ends up face down on the snow with one arm outflung, his broken sword a few feet away, looking like the Titan of Braavos. His cloak is slashed in 12 different places, and that’s an interesting number, because the Last Hero had 12 companions and a broken sword. A while later, Gared, the ranger that had been waiting with the horses shows up near Winterfell and not far from there, there’s a corpse, a she-wolf. Robb and Jon found that corpse and something else, 6 pups, one for each Stark children, meaning 12 companions, like Waymar’s 12 slashes. After Waymar dies, Will, that had been watching the entire thing from a tree, climbs down and goes for Waymar’s sword while thinking that “the broken sword would be his proof”, that Gared would know what to do, and if not him, then Mormont or Maester Aemon. The one that knew what to do with the direwolves was Jon. Gared was caught near Winterfell, Mormont gave Jon his family sword, Longclaw, and Aemon told him something that’s very important to understand Lightbringer: “Kill the boy”. Will comes near Waymar’s dead body and thinks that “lying dead like that you saw how young he was, a boy” which is funny because he was lying face down, so no, you couldn’t see how young he was. Cat “sees” Jon apparently for the first time when he’s leaving to the NW, so he’s all but ‘dead’ at that point, he’s no longer a danger for her children. But for Cat, Jon was never a child, he was a threat, something dangerous that was getting worse as he grew because he looked more like a Stark than any of her trueborn boys. Of course, like Waymar, Jon was a boy, in fact Jon was much younger than Waymar, and even when he was not a real threat, he was a motherless kid, with no name, and no rights, Cat, like the Other in the prologue coldly and mercilessly, hurt Jon and taught her five children to do the same. That episode with Cat completely drains Jon emotionally, until he sees Arya. Arya ran to him, and he warned “put down the sword” he was just coming from being stabbed, he didn’t need more of that. Jon gave Arya “Needle”, the sword that’s Arya’s biggest secret and she showered him with kisses. Waymar died on a rain of needles. Whatever cold, whatever ‘wall of ice’ Cat intended to put between her children and Jon, Arya shattered it, and that’s what Will hears when the Others laugh, a “cracking of ice”, that’s Arya laughing with her secret, the sword, after Jon was brutally hurt by Cat. Once the ‘rain of needles’ falls, Royce “went to his knees” and covered his eyes while blood welled. That’s Jon saying his vows and going north, when he comes back to the Wall, there are no more Starks on Winterfell, and the castle is a shell. Will approaches Waymar’s corpse and grab his sword, then Waymar rises: Waymar, raises “different”, his cloak is a mess, his face is a ruin, one eye is blind but the right one is open and that eye, that ‘burns’, sees. When Jon finds Ghost in the snow, Theon tells him that surely,he would be the first to die, because like Waymar, his ‘cloak’ was wrong, he was white, and his face was “a ruin”, he had red eyes. Then Bran notes that while the others were still blind, Ghost was the first to see. One more detail, Jon told Benjen that Ghost was different because he never made a sound. We saw that The Others made sounds, the one that killed him mocked Waymar, some of them laughed, but they did it in an unknown and very cold language. The thing is that Ghost is not that different from the other ghost. Arya thought that she was “the ghost of Harrenhal”, and of course, for different reasons, Jon and Arya where the outcasts in Winterfell. Will never got to take Waymar’s sword to the Wall, but something arrived, something frozen, and kind of broken. Shelter near at hand The night that Jon and Sam swear their vows, Ghost brings Jon a very weird gift, Jafer’s hand. The rangers that had been part of Benjen’s group ‘appear’ a half day’s ride from the Wall. When the bodies are found, someone suggest burning them, mostly because their eyes were all wrong, they were blue, when none of them ever had blue eyes before. Like the Starks. But Mormont, like Waymar, wants to understand what’s going on, so the corpses are brought to the castle. In the middle of the night the corpses rise and while Flowers, for unknown reasons, kills a lot of brothers, five to be precise, Othor goes straight to Mormont’s room. Jafer’s missing hand was his right hand, so he killed 5 men with his left hand, the left was Waymar’s white blind eye. What’s interesting about this parallel between Flowers and Arthur is that as we know, Cat heard that Ashara Dayne was Jon’s mother, so “Flowers”, a southern bastard name is a great parallel for Jon. The Other in the prologue is also accompanied by five useless watchers that just stand there until Waymar dies. Those beings wear armor that changes colors from grey (like a Stark), to black, to white. Is funny how Will thought that in The Other’s armor “The patterns ran like moonlight on water” because the Stark “pattern” is apparently to “melt” when they cross the Neck, and Will’s intention was to run to the Wall with a story and a sword that proved it, which is basically, what Cat did, she went to KL with a dagger and a story, and that started a war that doomed her family, but of course, it wasn't Ned that started it, it was Cat. On King’s Landing, Arya was rescued by a brother of the Night’s Watch, Yoren. Waymar says 3 things during his fight with the Other: “come no farther”, “dance with me”, and “For Robert!”, all related to Arya leaving King’s Landing and going north, and 3 men very important to her, Syrio, Yoren, and Gendry, ‘a ‘first sword’, a ‘brother’, and a bastard. Jon basically. But also, all clearly related to Lyanna. Lyanna, as Bran’s vision shows, “danced” with Benjen, she played swords with him. In that vision Benjen falls into the cold black waters of Winterfell’s pool and she tells him to keep quiet or Nan will run tell father, like Yoren run to tell Ned about Tyrion’s abduction. The means of making fire The second corpse, Othor, goes straight for Mormont, and it’s never clear why. Likely, he had the exact same thought that Will had, that Mormont would know what to do. Keep in mind that Will considered to take the sword that would prove what he saw to someone that would know what to do. And this was someone that would know what to do: Jon and Ghost find Othor, and during the fight, the wight puts his very cold fingers in Jon’s mouth like if he’s trying to keep him quiet. In that moment, Jon feels like those blue as frost eyes are filling his entire world and that was the last thing that Will saw, Waymar’s burning blue right eye. Jon gets unconscious, until he remembers to look for his sword. That’s exactly what seemed to be happening to Waymar that stayed dead until he raised when Will went for his sword. The moment that Jon remembers his sword, he sees Mormont, with a light in his hand, and the raven yells “Burn!”, but to whom? From that point on, Jon always wears gloves, like Waymar’s, made of moleskin, and keeps opening and closing his hand, like if he’s always trying for the blood to flow, trying hard not to get all cold. Of course, he burns his sword hand, and the thing is, that Jon thinks about his sword and sees Mormont with a light in his hand. Mormont seems to be “lightbringer” and of course, the hero needed a sword. Remember that Jorah gave up that sword when he sold some poachers (like Will), because is relevant later. What Jaime did, standing there filling his “head with thoughts of Cersei” is basically what Jon did, stood on the Wall filling his head with thoughts of Ygritte. Mormont gave Jon his family sword, and the Mormont’s words are “Here We Stand” and that’s exactly what Jon does, like Jaime, just stand there while the Starks died. Needle the skinny sword, like the swords in the crypt, was made “special”. The swords in the crypt, eventually vanish, those swords are there just “to keep the vengeful spirits” but the ‘faint blue shimmer’ that seems “sharper than any razor” is about hate, not vengeance, is about people with blue eyes. Ned told Robert that he had seen Lyanna’s beauty “but not the iron underneath”, and that makes you think like if she wore an armor, which leads us again to Waymar and his look, the “ghost light” in Jon. Robert hatred for Rhaegar was too much, but maybe understandable, Cat’s hate for Jon, on the other hand, was completely unjustified, and absolutely blind. The crypt is full of holes, waiting for Ned’s family, but you don’t need to be fast to hack a man’s head off, you just need a sword, and you don't need to choose between a cripple or a baby if there's someone with a better claim. Just as Gared thought, there’s some enemies that a fire will keep away, but as Waymar thought fire can also let them know where you are. Tempering the sword In Jaime’s darkness there’s no lion and no bear, but there’s definitely a direwolf and a little “splash”. Jaime was there when Brandon and Rickard Stark died. And seeing them had a long-lasting effect in the young brother, because even if the Starks meant absolutely nothing to him, Brandon went there for his sister, and clearly Jaime could relate to that, in fact he thinks of Cersei while the Starks die. Brandon had to watch his father die a horrible death, and Jaime refused to relate to that. Like Will, Jaime saw the Starks die, and of course when Aerys started to sing, “burn them all” Jaime, that had already saw how that song ended, decided that “dead men sing no songs” and killed him. So, when Gared, the old ranger, says “we need a fire”, Waymar gets angry like Jaime, because “the enemy” that Aerys intended to burn, was Jaimie’s own father, and Jaime likely. Waymar tells Gared that if there are enemies, a fire is the last thing they want, and that leads us to the ending of another song, Bael’s. That song ends, in the happy version, when they find the child, but in the darker version, the song ends when the kid comes to Winterfell with his father’s head and his mother throw herself from a tower. Jon clearly looks like a Stark and Cat suspects his mother was Ashara, the dornish (fire) woman that killed herself like the maiden in the song. Bran, the kid that wanted to be a kingsguard, sees the lion, Jaime Lannister, on a tower in Winterfell, having sex with his sister, and ends up ‘falling’. But that “falling” wasn’t meant for Bran, it was meant for Jon. Cat says so, “it should have been you”, Jon always wanted to be a Stark, he wanted to know who his mother was, and what Bran sees in that tower is Jon’s origin, just with different cloaks. Ghost is the first one to see and his eyes are red as blood, Jon’s eyes, according to Bran, are dark “but there was little they did not see”. The one that was meant to see the incest was Jon. He suspects that his origin is something “dark and dishonorable”, and depending on how you feel about incest, he’s right. Jon finds Ghost because he hears him, he’s the only one that hears him, like Bran was the only one that heard the Lannisters. Waymar comes 'to life' when Will has the ‘proof’, the broken sword, and he stops the watcher from telling the story, and when he does, one eye is blind while the other burns. Waymar’s blue Flowers Waymar was looking for some wildlings, but he finds something else. Flowers, the brother that left with Benjen, rises in the middle of the night and for unknown reasons kills five brothers. All in all, Waymar and Flowers killed six brothers. That’s the number of trueborn Starks when the story begins, Ned and his five children. Waymar was the one in charge on his mission, he ordered Will to “look for a fire”, like Rhaegar asked Jaime to watch for his father. Jaime ends up killing him instead. Clearly Ned promised to watch for Jon, but he just kept him alive. Jon’s life in Winterfell was a life of cold swords poking him full of holes, unlike Waymar’s death that was fast. The hand that Jaime loses is the hand that pushed Bran, his sword hand, and that’s the hand that Jon burns. Jaime fondly remembers how Arthur could have killed his five useless brothers if he wanted to, and that’s what Jafer does, kills five black brothers. Of course, once that Jon burns his right hand, the Starks start to die like flies. Like Brandon, Jaime was the older son, but a cold cup passed to him, just as Waymar’s cup passed to Flowers. Killing Aerys was meant for a Stark, not Jaime. Will’s voiceless Horn The next cup passed from Will to Othor, as we know, Will had the rare privilege of seen them all, while apparently no enemy ever saw him. But before he could take a single step, Waymar caught him. Othor does what Will intended to do, get to Mormont. Will’s intention was to bring Waymar’s twisted sword, the “proof”. As we saw, the Royce’s have a special armor that seems to protect them, and clearly, Jon had something that protected him, because Othor twisted his guard’s head of until the man ended up with his body looking down, but his head looking up, but when he fought Jon, he just shoved his fingers in his mouth. Weird, right? When Bran is in a coma, and as twisted and broken as Waymar’s sword, Jon goes to see him, and Cat tells him “it should have been you” and right there, we have the last step of Lightbringer’s tempering, she was weeping over the broken sword that just ‘hunted’ a lion, and for no apparent reason except pure cruelty she calls Jon by his name for the first time ever, and thrusted the sword in his heart. There is our sword, Lightbringer, a sword that “makes its own heat”, Jon’s mere existence was enough to fuel Cat’s blind hatred. When Ned says that “it was all meant for Brandon” he forgets about “ICE”. It’s kind of funny that Jon dreamed that a “true Stark” should save his father’s life because the guy that was supposed to get everything, managed to get his own father killed. The best part of this quote is how Eddard was supposed to place “Ice” in his hand to prove he was a “true Stark” because Jon burns his hand fighting a frozen man, and saving someone else's father. Jaime’s cup passed to Jon, the ‘kingslayer’ saved his father’s life from the fire, and Jon saved Mormont's from the cold. A Black Bundle The next time we see wights is on the Fist of the First Men. The first men in the novels are of course Gared, Waymar, and Will. Gared says something very interesting about the cold because he experienced it first-hand: On the Fist, Jon is recruited by Qhorin for a very important mission, finding the “power” that Mance was looking for. Arthur the guy that, like Qhorin, could easily kill with his left hand, was the one that recruited Jaime. Remember that a man with missing fingers is the one that proclaims Robb as King, apparently because losing half his hand convinced him he was in the presence of a ‘true’ man. Legend says that once Qhorin lost his fingers, he became the wildlings most implacable foe, but clearly, Robb didn’t knew that story. Is never very clear why Qhorin thought that Jon would be an asset to his group since they had never met, unlike the other men that Qhorin knew well, Jon didn’t have any particular skill, except of course his blood and gods that Qhorin mentions, or more likely, the direwolf that runs with him, that Qhorin also mentions, and looks like a weirwood tree. Is funny that most of those are things that are mentioned when Robb is proclaimed, but they fit Jon better than Robb. I’ll do a separate post about that because is just great. When only Qhorin and Jon remained, the Halfhand gave him his mission: Qhorin never tells Jon what he’s supposed to watch, and of course he doesn’t need to, Umber did, it was the dragons they married, and the dragons were all gone, but Ned married a deer, and clearly they didn’t liked that marriage, none of them was there when Robert came to the north.. When Ned entered the Red Keep, he saw Jaime sitting in the throne with a sword on his lap and he told Ned that he had nothing to fear. Of him, of course. Old Nan told Bran that “fear is for the winter”, and the story that Davos hears, makes you think of a very fearsome Stark. Waymar told Gared that lately they had “no cold fierce enough” to kill eight grown men clad in fur and leather, with shelter near at hand, and the means of making fire, which is a very clear reference to the story that Davos is told about what winter is, what the north is supposed to be. Except that Bartimus had the wrong name, it wasn’t “Brandon Stark” that brought winter, it was Jon. The Stark that fell on the “sea raiders” came howling from the north, from the Wall. A length of frayed rope On the Fist, while the brothers are waiting for Qhorin, Jon finds three things: An old warhorn, apparently broken Weapons made of dragonglass or “frozen fire” A black cloak, clearly from a brother of the Night’s Watch In that bundle, we have everything that Gared mentioned when he described what it was like to have “the cold”: “Two ears, three toes, and the little finger off my left hand.” Two ears, the old warhorn banded in bronze The Lannister’s words are, as we know “Hear Me Roar”, and of course, Cersei’s “roaring” is what attracted Bran to the window. We know that Brandon ‘roared’ in the Red Keep for Rhaegar to come out and die, and he didn’t, but that doesn’t mean that no one heard, Jaime did, and half the continent. Once that Brandon roared there was no turning back, like there wasn’t when Jon announced he was going to face Ramsey, and of course he didn’t intended to get back. We saw the same thing again, but this time, the one that hears ‘the roar‘, is Sam: Bran ‘falls’ and he’s unable to get any sound from his father, that should have done something when his own son was left "worthless" and he had the proof that someone was sent to kill him afterwards and nearly killed his wife. Brandon did much more with much less than that… Of course, Brandon went to King’s Landing clearly thinking that they were done with the Iron Throne, but Ned was far from done with Robert, even when his family was behind what happened to Bran, and even when he knew that he was a terrible King. Likely, Sam didn’t carry the horn with him all the way to Craster’s Keep, and it doesn’t matter, because he carried the sound. What Sam hears, “craven, craven, craven” are the Starks dying while Ned was at the Eyrie doing absolutely nothing until Jon Arryn declared himself in revolt. And once the war was all but over, instead of declaring that the north was done with the Iron Throne, he knelt, but this time there was no dragons, only a drunk deer. Gared’s first proof of the cold were his missing ears, Sam’s proof was hearing Jon’s voice, that had blown that horn and thought that no sound came out of it. Once that Sam kills the Other, the sound is so sharp that he had to cover his ears. The first proof that something’s wrong in the north is the emptiness that Robert finds when he came. Frozen Fire and three toes Sam is the one that discovers that “dragonglass” or obsidian is the weapon of choice if you’re going after an ‘Other’, like Cat. It was bastards what doomed the dragons, and a bastard doomed Ned and his family. I already mentioned the Greatjon Umber obvious role in this, and I’ll make a separate post about the northern conspiracy and a wrong way ranger later. But for now, I just wanted to point out Jon’s eyes, that seem like obsidian, and the point that “dragonglass” points to the fact that the disgusting habit of incest is like a “glass” that clearly wasn’t invented by the dragons, otherwise the Lannister’s couldn’t have stayed looking like that thousands of years, and neither the Starks. A black cloak and a little finger Benjen comes back to Winterfell for Robert’s welcome feast, and he notes that Jon was doing bad. Is funny that every single word that Qhorin told Jon when he instructed him on the ‘power’ he was supposed to look for, are in the exchange he had with Benjen: “Ride with them” (direwolves), “eat with them” (brothers), “fight with them” (Lady Stark). But there’s something else that Qhorin says: “…for as long as it takes. And watch.” When Jon leaves for the Watch, Lady Stark finally “sees” Jon for the first time and decides that the moment he came to say goodbye, to let her know she won, was a great time to give the final stroke, and cut that bastard’s heart once and for all. Littlefinger mentions that he still carries a “token” of Brandon’s esteem. What he had, as we know, was a terrible wound that Brandon inflicted on him when he asked for a duel. Petyr was apparently madly in love with Cat, but she just felt sorry for him apparently, so she begged her betrothed to spare his life because she loved him like a brother, and of course, Brandon agreed. That’s what any person that have something resembling to a heart would do, yet, when Jon came to see the foolish boy that he loved like a brother, Cat looked at him with the frosted eyes of a Stoneheart and didn’t spare him. Hell no. Brandon’s fight with Littlefinger is almost the exact same fight that Waymar had with the Other, but the most interesting thing is that like Cat’s “duel” with Jon, it was over as soon as it begun, she had won, the “river was lapping” at Jon’s ankles, he was going to the Night’s Watch, that was it. But Cat needed that final stroke, she wanted that “bright blood”. It will be Brandon, again, the one that will end it, because Jon will be posed as Brandon’s son ending Cat’s cold song. Likely, Littlefinger has something to do with that. We can now understand why Waymar was so pissed with Gared when he had the notion that they needed a “fire”. What the north wants is a cold Stark.
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