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Edgar Allen Poemont

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  1. I’m not sure where to start, but there is again a lot to consider in your response @Seams. I really like the idea of the white bear skin representing Val and Dalla as a protector and life giver. Maybe it’s all three, Mance as Father, Dalla as Mother and Val as Warrior. It’s interesting too, that when Stannis arrives and breaks the Wildling army, Jon, who has been sent to kill Mance, doesn’t join in the battle but stays outside the tent to protect Dalla and Val and the child about to be born. One of my favorite Jon moments. Val wants to leave and find a midwife but Jon tells her to be the midwife. Aemon Steelsong is born at the moment all the confusion and violence end and the king is heralded as having arrived. Jon at first wonders if it’s Robb but it’s Stannis. Also, Varamyr loses control of all his “thrall” skins at the same time. We learn later in the ADWD prologue, Dalla, also dies at the same time. It’s an intertwining of life and death. The she bear hates Varamyr, I think because he is an enslaver. He uses his power, similarly to Craster to serve his owns ends. I think when Jon finally learns to use his warg abilities, it will be to protect and free his people. I agree the black tent scene is related but I need to reread it again. I’ve always loved the imagery of Jon emerging from his icy black tent and seeing the beauty of winter and feeling at peace for a short while.
  2. Excellent connection, because if the white bear skin does represent a protective spirit, it would need to incorporate the feminine spirit as well as the masculine spirit to be a more fully effective energy. An interesting connection the home of House Mormont brings to mind for me is the longhouse of the Iroquois, native to my home state of New York. The Iroquois were a matrilineal society where descent and family ties were traced through the mother. I think House Mormont traditionally was, as well and still retains some of that tradition and so do some of the Wildlings.
  3. In brief, I think Mance sees himself as a protector, father and brother figure to the Wildlings and symbolizes that with the white bear skin, but also sees his people as a great elk herd, in a sense and puts the needs of the herd at the top of the tent, so to speak. Thank you for the mythology links, @LynnS. I hope to find time to read them later today.
  4. There is definitely something to this, too. I think Mance is symbolizing his intent and his purpose as King of the Wildlings. The white bear skin makes me think of Jeor, but also Varamyr and his snow bear; an unwilling recipient of Varamyr’s power. The great elk horn makes me think of Coldhands and also one of Haggon’s lessons to Varamyr:
  5. There is a lot to mull over in both your responses @Seams and @LynnS. I really like the mention of the skulls outside Craster’s Keep. I’m not sure if it was meant as foreshadowing or symbolism or both. I definitely agree they are both “kings” in a sense. I wrote quite a bit on a thread called For the Watch back in 2017 about Jon in regards to his position as LC. I believe the authority of the LC is akin to that of a king within the confines of the Wall and the Gift. I actually think GRRM is paralleling it somewhat with the Prince of Dorne, not quite a king in title but different than a lord. The Wall is dependent on the Realm but does not swear fealty to it and the “law” ends at the Wall. The LC is the highest authority within those boundaries. That is why the Jeor is able to decide his own penalties, in regards to Jon and any other members of the Watch. I think he does so judiciously. Craster, however is beyond the Wall and beyond any sense of law or authority. He is free (folk) to name himself king and has done so. He rules only his keep and his authority is limited to it but there is no denying he is king of his castle. His keep, his rules. These ideas are part of a larger framework I’ve been thinking about for awhile, but in brief, I think Craster also represents a distorted version of a King. If Winter really lasted for a generation or more and Cold and Death and Fear took physical form, what choices would a King need to make to ensure the survival of his people? What realities would they need to face to survive? Murder, Cannibalism, Incest, almost certainly, would all happen. Men would become more and more expendable, simply from a biological perspective but also a resource perspective. I think Craster has taken a few of the hard choices a King would need to consider and made them the only considerations because he is ultimately self serving and only truly concerned for his own survival. He is a false king, a Crass Stark, but he is no Bastard. I think we are also meant to compare him to Aerys because Aerys’ motivations and actions are equally as distorted.
  6. I think that’s an idea that makes a great deal of sense, too. It’s improbable that Ice is the original heirloom sword of the Starks, given that it is Valyrian steel. Catelyn even gives an approximate age as being around the time of the Conquest. The symbolism in the names is what convinces me. I think it was @Seamswho wrote about an interesting idea that I read some time ago. He suggested that Ice is connected to Justice via GRRM’s use of wordplay. If the sword stays whole, it’s Just Ice. When it’s divided in two, it becomes Oathkeeper and Widow’s Wail, which to me was the crux of Torrhen’s dilemma. Do I honor my oath as a king to protect my people by kneeling to a greater power or do I lead my people to almost certain destruction and hear only the grief of those left behind in defiance of that power? I think, maybe Aegon recognized the personal sacrifice Torrhen makes and rewards it by allowing him to retain the power of Ice (Just Ice) with a symbolic gift that is also imbued with the power of Valyria. When the sword is divided in two, no amount of magic can fully separate the Ice and the Fire contained in it. It’s probable that it was an exchange,too; heirloom for heirloom and the original Ice became part of the Iron Throne. The negotiations between them took all night and the ceremony took place at dawn. In order to tie this into the discussion of this thread, I wonder if Longclaw was part of the negotiations, as well. Did House Mormont have a respected position in Torrhen’s counsel? Is the name Longclaw tied to the Long Night, in some way? The words of House Mormont are Here We Stand and their holdings are on an island in the middle of the Bay of Ice. The Wiki page for House Mormont says Longclaw may date back 500 years.
  7. @Aejohn the Conqueroo I agree it’s not Dark Sister. @Prince of the North pointed out Dark Sister is a longsword. If it was Blackfyre, though, there would have to be a lot of story to explain how it got to the Mormonts or the Wall. I think it most likely is just Longclaw, but the history of how the Mormonts acquired it is still a mystery. I did a search of Longclaw and a couple interesting things popped up for me. Jeor tells Jon it’s name: Jeor is pleased Jon has drawn a parallel between House Stark and House Mormont, which seems to suggest a shared history but also a shared sense of honor. I’m convinced Jeor is committing himself to Jon here, almost like adopting him, as much as he’s looking for a commitment from Jon in regards to the Watch. He sees a chance to act differently with Jon than he did for Jorah. Later when Jon is considering deserting he leaves Longclaw behind: Later, after Jon has left to join Robb, he even thinks of it in familial terms: We don’t get Jeor’s internal monologue but I bet part of him is wishing he could have given the sword back to Jorah and helped him restore his honor but that opportunity has passed. The Wiki page on Jorah reminded me that he had the option to join the Watch after his crime was discovered and Eddard had sentenced him to death. Maybe, part of the reason he fled was he didn’t want to face his father after what he had done, even more than he didn’t want to face Eddard. I think GRRM is actually telling us the story is true, even without all the details being revealed, by repeating it through Jon’s POV and then his actions, when he’s contemplating deserting his Watch “family”. Not that there may not be a hidden mystery to the sword’s origin, but the symbolic significance may be more important. I would say in this regard that Jorah does reveal a lot to Daenerys but not everything. I think he wants to reveal enough to let her know he would do anything for her, but he wants her to be his new Lynesse in return. It’s unspoken in some ways but I think but it’s there. Also, I had forgotten but Daenerys has promised Jorah a Valyrian sword in return for his oath as first of her Queensguard.
  8. That’s a great connection, too with Maege, Maegi and Maggy. I actually wondered to myself last night about what role or significance the she-bears hold. Dacey is probably meant to be connected to Lyanna, too, both seem to be tragic warrior type women to me. I wonder if Meera suggests a bridge between the two name groupings. A warrior figure with witch capabilities. Dark Sister would perhaps transform into Light Sister in her strong loving hand.
  9. Thanks @Prince of the North, I wasn’t sure. You’re right, it is a slender longsword that was probably made for a woman, according to the Wiki, so not Longclaw.
  10. @LynnS, I like the connection you’ve made with Joramund, Jorah and Jeor and Toramund. I’ve never seen that made before. I think the connections between the North and the Wildlings are very significant. Nice catch!
  11. @Aejohn the Conqueroo There are some who suggest it could be Dark Sister, last known to be owned by Bloodraven and possibly taken with him to the Wall. It is also possible there were instructions left by him for succeeding LC’s to give it to someone who displayed the right character, but I have never seen any textual reference. Dark Sister was also a bastard sword, if I remember correctly. I do like the idea that as far as Jorah got to bankrupting himself, he retained a shred of honor and refused to sell the most valuable object owned by his family. Of course, he did sell human beings, which to a true knight should be more valuable than any sword.
  12. The Old Bear is one of my favorite characters. He reminds me a bit of my grandfather. He joined the Watch to make room for Jorah to become Lord of Bear Isle, but I think the reasons for that are due to the complexities of father son relationships, which is an ongoing theme throughout ASOIF. It’s not too hard to imagine Jeor, as a younger man, being a very demanding and intimidating father, in many respects. He is still that way, as Lord Commander, but you can also see, especially in his relationship with Jon, a stern and demanding but also tempered with understanding and a forgiving nature. I think he learned to be more that way through his service to the Watch. I think he loved Jorah, but struggled with teaching him how to be the man, that Jeor wanted him to be and also, how to be the Lord he was expected to be. Jorah wanted to be something else; a knight. For one tournament he was inspired by romantic love to be the champion. Then he started to spend his inheritance and finally, his honor trying to replicate that version of himself. He became fixated on serving his wife, who wanted all the comforts of life, because she was the symbol to Jorah of what made him the best knight he could be. She, in turn, became disillusioned that her knight in shining armor was heir to modest holdings and wondered why he couldn’t be that romantic champion for her all the time. So, I think Jeor’s hope was, if he let Jorah become Lord, he would be able to grow into a more satisfied man, through honoring his duties. I also get the feeling that for Jeor, there was also, some sense of atonement for the mistakes he may have felt he made with Jorah and maybe, some regrets or guilt. The following quote illustrates this to me. As, Jeor is dying I think he sees how it’s all connected. He couldn’t help or make amends to Jorah directly but he is dying with honor and he has made a difference at the Wall, particularly with Jon Snow. He wants that opportunity for Jorah to regain his honor and make a difference by serving, too. I also think one of Jorah’s best acts was leaving the sword behind. A Storm of Swords - Samwell II "Tell them what, my lord?" Sam asked politely. "All. The Fist. The wildlings. Dragonglass. This. All." His breathing was very shallow now, his voice a whisper. "Tell my son. Jorah. Tell him, take the black. My wish. Dying wish." "Wish?" The raven cocked its head, beady black eyes shining. "Corn?" the bird asked.
  13. Thank you @LongRider. I’ve been trying to find that for awhile. I guess if I do a search of westeros.org/Edgar Allen Poemont, it should bring up other threads I posted on as well. That is super helpful and I appreciate you taking the time.
  14. I’m wondering if there is an archive of old threads. I remember responding to a number of threads through the years that do not show up on my profile. Is there any way to access those older threads? In particular, I’m looking for one that was titled For the Watch, that is from probably over five years ago, or so.
  15. Interesting comparison to Garfield too, Seams. To be honest, I didn't know much about that nomination. I just read a bit on Wiki. I was linking the actions of Sam and Jon's friends playing off the egos of Mallister and Pyke and their mutual dislike of each other to Lincoln's advisers working behind the scenes, particularly in regard to Seward and Chase. Lincoln was a way stronger candidate in his own right at the start then Jon certainly, but I like the parallel with Lincoln utilizing his rivals later in his cabinet like Jon tries to do with Marsh and Yarwyck. Lincoln was assassinated too and by a Southron Sympathizer! LOL. As far as emancipation goes, I don't doubt the wildings view themselves more as refugees as you say, but I think Mance brought them together with all the tools available to him. Outtalking Tormund, outmaneuvering Styr, etc., singing what needed to be sung, so to speak, like a lesson in wilding coalition building, in order to ironically lead the Free Folk to freedom from their original separation from the "realms of men." All this relates to a larger idea I have about Jon's purpose and the concept of emancipation politically and personally/spiritually for Jon, but I'm still working on that one. I just think the Rayder part of Mance's name is kind of obvious and maybe, a bit of a sleight of hand on GRRM's part and the connection came to me when I started looking at the possibility of Mance's role being more connected and involved than I originally thought.
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