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Stormy4400

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  1. Palfreys may tie into the sheep symbolism because they are docile horses. It's why they were popular mounts for women back in the day. One can possibly say that they are like sheep. Wyman Manderly giving Palfreys to the Freys...especially as frey is part of the name might symbolically position them as sheep being led to the slaughter. Also, Frey pie is basically Shepherd's pie, which is traditionally made with beef or mutton. It's definitely wordplay on mouton, which is the french word for sheep. The linkage with the fish is what potentially gives it the mutton distinction but then that could be meat of either of a ram or a goat.
  2. TY! I do think that sheep is being used as a metaphor for man in general. However, a lamb is a baby sheep and so one can't avoid the obvious in that they likely represent children. In fact, one of the things I've considered about the Lhazareen is that they might symbolically represent the COTF. That's what I was hinting at when I said that The Dothraki and Dany may have committed a greater sin. The Lhazareen's skin color is copper like the Dothraki and have similar almond shape eyes. Both these are similar to the nut brown skin of the children and almond shape eyes are usually larger in size...possibly like the children. While the Dothraki are tall, Dany thinks of the Lamb men as squat, which means that they are short in stature. More interesting is that their language is described as having a sing-song quality which echoes the musical nature of that of the COTF. And like the children, they are vegetarians.
  3. YW! I too have noticed that Martin uses almost anagrams in the text and I feel sure that it's a deliberate choice on his part. I discovered another couple of interesting wordplays/anagrams over the last few years that you might find interesting. The first is Nissa being an alternate spelling for Nyssa. As you know, *I* and *Y* are often used interchangeably in the spelling of words and I believe that George is using it in this manner in the spelling of Nissa. Nyssa is a genus of deciduous trees that grow in swamps and bogs and along *blackwater* rivers. The trees are natural weirs. More popularly known as Black Tupelo trees, they gave name to Tupelo Mississippi where many of the trees can be found in area swamps. They are also plentiful along the Florida panhandle, Mexico and Central America. They are many varieties of the trees including Nyssa sylvatica, Nyssa aquatica, and Nyssa ogeche to name just a few. The interesting thing is that in addition to being natural weirs that grow in swamps and blackwater rivers, the different variety of trees are all honey makers. The ones that grow along the Florida panhandle actually produces one of the most expensive variety of honeys. When you consider the symbolic importances of weirs, blackwater rivers, hives, bees and honey as the food of the gods in the text, I feel confident that this particular tree influenced George in the naming of the character at the heart of one of the books great mysteries. In regard to the text, Nissa or Nyssa can be interpreted as the honey tree and I think that is association with honey may also explain George’s use of repetition in the name. I think that he was potentially inspired by the Abba song Honey Honey from the 70s. He loves to drop those types of cultural references into his stories. Another interesting discovery I made is that Sansa is a full anagram for nassa, which means weir in Spanish. When I made this discovery a few years ago, I was told that it was just happenstance because nassa was Spanish and George was probably not aware of the word. This didn’t make any sense to me as George is on the record as saying that he can’t write a character until he knows their name and that he does a lot of research to determine his character’s names. George has also lived for decades in a state where Spanish is basically the second language and as he uses anagrams in his story, I think that he likely knows that Sansa is an anagram for nassa and its association with weir.
  4. I think that the use of sheep is about sacrifice and the Christ myth but I also see your point about the Others coming across as symbolic shepherds. They do seem to have been herding the Wildings south of the Wall. They have been back for years and could have added all the Wildings to their army of the dead and so they must be a reason that they didn't go this route. They were only harrying Mance's forces...seemingly to force them further South. Also, we know what happened at Hardhome on the show but we don't yet have a definitive answer about events in the books and so it can be argued that on the page, Stannis army has killed more of the Wildings than the Others. As I said, I think that sheep is a metaphor for man and represent sacrifices to both the fiery and icy gods. What I find interesting is that we've been shown that the icy gods are willing to accept actual sheep as a replacement sacrifice. Not so with their fiery counterpart as is emphasized in the text from Dany's own mouth and in her last chapter in ADWD. I feel sure that this distinction is important and I'm curious to find out why as we get closer to the battle of ice and fire.
  5. This is going to be a somewhat long response because I’ve given the topic of sheep and its symbolism in the story a lot of thought. I’ve thought about it a lot but I’m not quite clear on all the symbolism because of the overlap with other symbols and metaphors. However, I’ve never related it to peaches and so I’m looking forward to reading your thoughts whenever you make your post. Ultimately, I think that George’s use of sheep is about sacrifice and the Christ myth. Like you, I agree that we must look at George’s usage of the words lamb, sheep, or mutton in unison. I am sometimes tempted to include goats as well but while no longer a practicing Catholic, George was raised as one, and in the bible, there is a big difference between sheep and goats. As he is playing heavily on biblical mythology with his use of sheep, I’m not sure that we should combine the two. There are two reasons that I wanted to include goats in with the symbolism. One I will mention now and the other later. The first reason is because a few chapters after it is revealed that Drogon roasted and ate Hazzea, a human child, Dany is served a roasted kid, which is of course a baby goat. Kid is also another name for a human child. We are obviously meant to look at the two events side by side and as Reznak compared Hazzea’s bones to those of a sheep, I thought that with its similarities to a goat, the two were meant to have the same symbolism. Upon re-reading the passage where Dany is served the kid, I’ve come to a change of mind. That, and remembering the Parable of the Goats and Sheep from the bible. In the parable, when judgement day comes, Christ the shepherd will split the masses into two groups, the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. Those on the right are the blessed and will be allowed to enter the Kingdom while those on the left will be cast along with the devil into the fiery pits specially prepared for them. I do wonder what it means that George uses the word kid with its dual meaning in a passage that contains Dany’s having a sexual dream about Euron who many would compare to a devil, while Daario, the Euron in training is lying in bed next to her. It’s kind of scary. On the other hand, Pan with his horns and cloven feet of a goat is also the Greek god of shepherds and spring and so the symbolism is multi-layered. But enough about goats and back to your question about sheep. In the bible, Christ is both the shepherd and the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. Christ is also from Nazareth. In addition to being called Jesus of Nazareth, he was also known simply as The Nazarene and I think that this is the origin of George’s name for the people of Lhazar and their moniker as the Lamb People. This raises the possibility that there might be something special about the Lhazereen and in killing this group of people, Dany, her dragons and the Dothraki may have committed an ultimate sin. Or it might just be symbolism. As you and others have proposed, I think that the use of sheep is about sacrifice. However, I’m not sure that it about a specific type of sacrifice…e.g., that of children. I think that like with ants, George uses lamb, sheep, and mutton to represent humanity in general and the threat to its existence from both the fiery and icy dragons. Another biblical myth that’s at play is that of Abraham’s sacrifice of his young son Isaac. Abraham is ordered by the Lord to take his son Isaac to the mountain of Moriah and there, offer him up as a burnt offering. Abraham does this…lying to his son about the purpose of their trip to the mountains. He binds his son upon the altar and just as he is about to kill him, the voice of the Lord stops him. The Lord also sends a ram for Abraham to sacrifice in place of Isaac. In an interesting way, Craster with the sacrifice of his sons is the Abraham of the story. We don’t know what the Others have done to Craster’s sons. They might still be alive for all we know. What is interesting is that they are willing to accept sheep from Craster in their stead when he has no sons to give them. This plays into the biblical story about Abraham and Isaac. God’s order for Abraham to take Isaac to the altar and offer him up as a sacrifice was a test of faith. Abraham had faith and was willing to kill his son for that faith. Craster has faith of a sort as well. It’s not about the good human vs the bad. It’s about humanity and whether it can survive the joint coming of the two dragon forces. In the text, we’re shown symbolic sacrifices to both extremes with Hazzea and the Dothraki to the fire dragons, and Crafter’s sons to the icy Others. We’re shown over and over that people are sheep. However, as in the biblical myths about Christ, it may also be about self-sacrifice…who among the sheep can also be a shepherd but not just any shepherd. It may be about who can be a good shepherd. You may also want to look at House Mooton in your analysis of the House sigils. I think that George is using wordplay for Mooton aka Mouton, which is French for sheep or sheepskin. Mouton fur is also sheepskin that has been processed to look like pelts of beavers or seal. Not sure it means anything but with an implied connection to water and the facts that beavers build dams, I thought that I would mention. House Mooton’s sigil is also interesting because when you combine the name with the red fish on the sigil, you get the Capricorn symbol or at least you would if you substitute the goat for a ram. However, should we make this substitution when you consider what I stated up about the biblical differences of sheep and goat. Maybe not. The reason that I’m throwing the idea out there is because, while mutton is the name of meat from a ram or ewe over one year old, in certain parts of the world like South Asia, the Caribbean and Australia, it’s the name given to meat from a goat. This means that the House Mooton sigil might be that of the Capricorn Zodiac. What might that imply? I will end by referencing another book passage that mentions sheep that I find of interest. I’m talking about the sheep’s skull that Dany kicks off her little Dragonstone in the Dothraki Sea that serves as her impetus to descend and try to make her way back to Meereen. When you consider that Raznak compared Hazzea’s bones to that of a sheep with the fact that Dany has heartbreakingly forgotten the girl’s name at the end of ADWD, I can’t help but wonder whether the skull she kicked off the hill was in fact that of a sheep. If it was not a sheep, might that be the reason Dany forgot Hazzea’s name. Well, that’s some of my thoughts on the symbolic use of sheep in the books. Hope it provides the type of info you were looking for to help in the writing of your essay. The full story of Abraham and Isaac is in Genesis 22 if you want to read more of the details.
  6. I like the inferences you make here especially about morning star being a stand-in for the Dawn sword. I like the theory about Brienne but I'm especially intrigued by your comment about Sansa. Arya has her sword Needle but Sansa was always better at needlework than her little sister. Keeping in mind the double meaning, I wonder whether that could mean something...especially in regard to how she will kill Petyr, which I think will happen by her hands and not someone else. The popular fandom theory is that Darkstar will steal Dawn and bring it out of Dorne. He will then join Faegon's Kings guard and when Dany kills the latter, she will come into the possession of Dawn and then present it to Jon at some point in the future. I only agree with the first part of the theory. I think that Darkstar will indeed *steal* the famous sword but I don't think that he will go to Kings Landing. I think that he is another of Petyr's Catspaw and the thief will make his way to the Vale. It was on Petyr's order that he attempted to kill Myrcella. In fact, my theory is that Darkstar's arrival in Gulltown might have been the news Oswell rushed to bring to Petyr. I find your reference to Sansa being a potential symbolic morning star interesting because I have theorized that Dawn will make its way back into the hands of House Stark not via Dany as many have proposed but via Sansa. One passage that suggests such a possibility is this one from the chapter where Sansa builds her Winterfell snow castle. The wording of that line is so specific and hints not just at the fact that Dawn will be stolen but also that it will somehow make its way to Sansa's sphere. There is also a lot of sexual innuendo in the phrase but that's a different topic. Assuming that Dawn is the original House sword of the Starks from which its later great sword got its name, this dream of Sansa is also very interesting...especially as she has been known to misremember or misunderstand things in her dream. I don't think that it's really Illyn Payne in the dream nor do I think that it's her the Ice sword that she is familiar with from when it was owned by her father. Rather, I think that Dawn is the sword in her dreams and she is simply interpreting it as the Ice from her memory. I also think that she will kill Petyr with it. You mention Arya and her sword Needle. She is the one who wanted to learn to use a sword and her training has made her pretty proficient at is usage. However, least we forget, Sansa was always better at needlework. And no, I'm not saying that Sansa is going to become a master swords woman. That's not her role. I'm just talking about the symbolism that might come into play if Dawn, the symbolic morning star makes it into her hands as I proposed. It will then be through her that Jon gets his hands on the sword. She will be the maid that presents it to him. The wordplay on Septa Mordane's name never occurred to me but I love it. if she was a Dayne whether literally or symbolically, she would have been the one who taught Sansa needlework. Nice symbolism there. ETA to add a final thought. More than any other of the Starklings, Ice has played a role in Sansa's arc. From her first chapter when she reacted to Illyn Payne, it has been present in her arc. Her father would use Ice to kill Lady, with Sansa possibly being present in her direwolf at the time; Payne would later behead her father using Ice right in front of her; she would see him with the sword around the castle on multiple occasions; Ilyn and the sword invaded her dreams; and later, Jaime sent Brienne with one of the swords reforged from Ice to find Sansa. The sword has been a lodestone in Sansa's arc and so it makes sense that the original Ice would make its way back to her house via her.
  7. This has probably been discovered by others and discussed somewhere in this very long thread but a wordplay I find to be interesting is Merling vs Merlin and how it plays into Petyr's arc and the Vale. When he steals Sansa away from Kings Landing, he travels to the Vale on a galley name the Merling King as in the sea creature. When he reaches the Vale, he marries Lysa, later kills her and usurp her rulership of the Vale. What's interesting is that the sigil of House Aryn is a blue falcon and merlin without the "g" is the name of a blue falcon. So the ship that Petyr sailed to the Vale was basically announcing his intention to become the Merlin King or Lord of the Vale. It also implies that Ursula Upcliff who claimed to have been married to the Merling King might have been talking about the King of the Vale. Another interesting wordplay I discovered recently, which also likely has been discussed is Oldstones being almost a full anagram for Lodestone. It's only off by one letter but if you consider that the archaic spelling of old is olde, is can be considered a full anagram. Jenny of Oldstones was certainly a magnet for Duncan Targaryen but what does it mean. Is it simply telling us that it's not just certain locations that are hinges of the world, and that they are certain characters who serve the same purpose? If so, what was it about Jenny and the castle on the hill that made the lodestones?
  8. So what exactly are you trying to say when you compare the Targaryens, their House words and their dragons to Martians and use the idea of eatable ants in Dany's arc?
  9. I am going to debunk a theory that's pretty much accepted in the fandom as fact. It's not a bad theory. In fact, it's a pretty good one, and one I also accepted as fact previously. The theory in question is that the ants that attack Dany in her last chapter of ADWD are symbolic of the Others. On the surface, that seems like the obvious explanation. After all, they attack her at a Wall, which Dany specifically compares to the Great Wall in Westeros. However, if you look below the surface, you will come to the conclusion that the ants can't be the Others for several reasons. First, the text specifically states that the ants attack Dany in the morning. If they were representative of the Others, why would they attack in the morning and not at night. Isn't the sun anathema to the Others and don't they go into hiding then or become mist or something. Now maybe the ants did bite Dany during the night but why didn't she wake up. They were ants all over her person and she had dozens of bites. Maybe you wouldn't wake up if you were bitten by one or two ants during the night. You might just slap them and go back to sleep, but dozens of bites. There is no way that you wouldn't wake up. Another reason that I don't think that the ants represent the others is that to make this assumption means that you have to ignore George's metaphoric use of the word ant 4 other times in the chapters. It's not really that long a chapter when you think about it and yet George uses the word ant 5 times in the text. Actually, you can say he uses it 6 times because while he doesn't use the actual word, it's present in the scene in another instance. You also can't ignore how George has used the word in other chapters. All total, the word ant appears about 15 times in the text throughout all the books and George never once uses it to symbolize the Others. He uses the word to represent the small folks, warriors, the Wildings and the Nights Watch brothers. Why would he suddenly use it to metaphorically represent the Others when every previous usage was tied to humanity? Seems kind of strange to me. When you consider the theme of the chapter of getting Dany to make choose to be the Mother of Dragons over being Mhysa, and George's prior use of the word, you have to consider the possibility that he didn't switch up the symbolism. When Dany brushes the ants off her body and stamps on them, the word still has the same symbolic meaning. The word still represents the small folks, the warriors, the Wildings, and the Nights Watch. It especially represents the people of the East to whom Dany was Mhysa. I don't think that you can look at this passage... ...without comparing it to this one... ...Or wonder about this one. Also, as George has compared the Wildings to ants, one can argue the answer to the question that Dany asks about how the ants got over her wall, is that Jon opened the door to them. Of course, I doubt any of this will convince anyone but it's my attempt at debunking a theory.
  10. This thread is hilarious but I do think that it's a legitimate question because it's been hinted at in the text that Jon will have some type of sex big sex scene outside of his cave experience with Ygritte. As he's dead and his physical body can no longer get the proverbial juices flowing, one has to ask, how will it happen. For what it's worth, my money is on it happening in the astral plane/weirwood net— whatever you want to call it...prior to his spirit being drawn back into his body.
  11. When he goes south, he will pass the Crossroads. I'm sure that there will be news about the tourney melee at the inn and all he has to do is take the eastern road and head to the Eyrie to participate. Jon having recently returned from the dead and with Ghost’s direwolf aspect now a part of him will be in a killing mood (JMO). In TWOIAF, they tell us that the northern men don’t like jousting and that the melee was more their sport. Hearing of one in the area…especially in the mood he probably will be in would be of interest to Jon. I don't know specifically how it will happen but I'm pretty confident that Jon will end up in the Eyrie. Also although D&D have changed a lot in the story the last couple of years to the detriment of the show, I think what they got right is the fact that Jon and Sansa will be the first of the Stark kids to reunite and that the Knights of the Vale. I also think that it will happen in the Eyrie because in my opinion, the Knights of the Vale and the Mountains of the Morn are very important to the story. And I still say the timing lines up. Think of Alayne's last chapter in AFFC when Myranda told her that Ned Stark's bastard son was now Lord Commander of the Night's Watch. Sansa thinks about how it would be sweet to see Jon again and then as she's continues down the mountain, a strong wind hits them. She thinks of this wind as a "howling ghost wind as big as a mountain." I think that's the moment when Jon died over at the Wall. For us the reader, it didn't happen until ADWD but because we know from Martin that this book ran concurrently with the story in AFFC, we can extrapolate if the two books were combined into one as originally intended, Sansa Eyrie chapter and Jon death chapter would align. Also, the Alayne preview chapter would have to take place at least 2-3 weeks after her descent from the Eyrie as they would have to give the contestants time to arrive for the tourney. Plus, her and Myranda seem to have become comfortable in each other’s presence and that couldn’t have happened overnight. As such, there would have to be a slight passage of time from Alayne’s last chapter in AFFC. And if we assume that the “howling ghost wind” reference was a tip to Jon’s murder, then time has passed for him and his leaving the Wall and arriving at the Crossroads around the time of the tourney would match up. Every important event of the past that plays into the current story is happening again in some manner and so, it only makes sense that the Tourney of Harrenhal would repeat as well. In fact, GRRM maybe giving us two tourneys for the price of one as it could be argued that it’s the Tourney of Ashford Meadows playing out again as well. I wouldn’t be at all surprise if there is a puppet show about Florian and Jonquil and we finally get to heart that song that Sansa knows about them.
  12. I think that Sandor will probably show up in the story again but not in Vale. I think that part of Sandor's role in the story is to represent what Jon will be like when he returns. GRRM even gave him a name that ties into Jon. Wolf Hound anyone! As the Hound told Sansa, he enjoys killing. Jon before he is killed does not. However, there is a scene in ADWD where he thinks to himself, "food even taste better in Ghost," or words to that affect. I think that when he returns with the wolf now literally a part of him, killing will taste better as well. Just like Sandor.
  13. But per Martin, the events in AFFC and ADWD are concurrent. Even if Jon's body is put into the icy cells as Bran's vision seems to indicate, there won't be a long period of time between when he dies and when he returns for a couple of reason. First, the Night Watch would never keep his body for a long period of time as their practice is to burn bodies right away...generally the next morning. Second, if Jon is left in Ghost for too long a period of time, he will take on too much of the traits of the direwolf and Jon still has to be the controlling personality to lead the fight for the dawn. At the most, I would think that his body remains in the crypts about two days. This means that if he leaves the wall and heads south after he returns as I suspect will be the case, he will be passing the Eyrie right about the time of the Tourney.
  14. Hi everyone, Well, this is my first post on the forums. Like most everyone, I come to Westeros.org when I need to do some research on a subject or character from ASOIAF. I've been lurking on the forums but as it had been years since I first read the books, beginning with the publication of the first 20 years ago, I never felt comfortable posting. However, during the last year, I've been re-reading the books and have felt comfortable enough to start posting my comments online. As I mentioned, I've been lurking and reading the various threads and decided to make my first post in this one because as I was reading it, I thought that I would run across a particular analysis and as I didn't, I started to wonder if I was crazy...and maybe I am and it led to me deciding to de-lurk and ask a question. There were also a lot of pages to the thread and as I skip a few, it's possible that I missed what I expected to see, and in that case, apologies. The question I wanted to ask is does anyone else see the probability that GRRM is using the search for SR's Winged Knight Kingsguard as a reenactment of The Tourney of Harrenhal? Everything seems to be in place for it. You have Lyanna, the lady wolf in the form of Sansa; her betroth, Robert in the form of Harry (even down to him replicating Robert in the fathering of bastard children); the event is taking place in the Vale of Arryn where Robert was fostered and where he had his first bastard, Mya; you have a short in stature hedge knight in Ser Shadrich (although he is of a different moral character than Howland); And, I suspect that eventually, Brienne will end up in the Vale and will be representative of the "non" laughing knight. The only person missing is the Rheghar stand-in, which I believe will be Jon as it was hinted at in Sansa's last chapter in AFFC as she descended from the Eyrie and the wind was described as howling fiercely. "It sounds like a wolf, thought Sansa. A ghost wolf as big as mountains." To me, this hints at one of two things. The first option is that Ghost would be in the Eyrie and where there's Ghost, Jon is not far behind. Or the second possibility is that Ghost dies when Jon is brought back and it's symbolic Jon the ghost that Sansa is sensing in the mountains. Either way, I think that it's a safe bet that when Jon leaves the Wall as he no doubt will, he will head south passing the Eyrie and will probably participate in the Tourney after he recognizes Sansa. At some point both Jon and Sansa will have to go back to Winterfell but as the story left off, Stannis will be the one to take back Winterfell or at least attempt to do so. Since Winterfell is not currently an option for him, it makes sense that he would head south and end up at the Eyrie...especially as it's obvious that the Knights of the Vale and House Arryn have a major role to play in the endgame. So what does everyone think? Do you think this scenario as I outline could play out.
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