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Nadden

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  1. The blue eyes seen in the Prologue of AGOT are actually sapphire gems set in the guard and pommel of Ser Waymar Royce’s longsword. Will's misinterpretation of the "white shadow" and the seemingly Otherized Waymar are a demonstration of how fear can warp one’s sense of reality. Consumed by terror, unable to speak, Will is overwhelmed by his own immobilizing fear. His mind struggles to decipher the jewels on the hilt of Ser Waymar Royce’s longsword from the supernatural eyes conjured in the shadowy corners of his subconscious. His belief that he's experiencing something otherworldly poses a question to his reliability as our narrator. It’s no coincidence that on the two occasions that Will observes the blue eyes, Waymar's hilt is literally close in hand. In fact, the only thing separating the blue eyes and the jewels on the hilt of Ser Waymar Royce’s blade is his state of mind. His narrow perspective and flawed reasoning leave both him and us vulnerable and susceptible to the formation some very irrational conclusions. The eyes burn with a blue, deeper and bluer than any human eyes. It’s a blue that burns like ice. A perfect description for a sapphire, yet we are reading about the set of blue eyes belonging to the "Other” and the last thing Will sees before closing his eyes to pray. Similar to Gared’s eyes, with a “hard glitter”, gems and eyes appear to be closely associated at the onset of ASOIAF. Recalling the first glitter to catch Will’s eye, we see through Will the “jewels” ‘fixed on the hilt of Ser Waymar Royce’s longsword’’. It’s no coincidence that the next line following the first description of the blue eyes is about the longsword. The same thing happens with the line following the sighting of the third blue eye. It’s about “the broken sword”. The same patter exists with the only mention of Gared’s eyes. And again it persists with Waymar’s eyes. However, this time it should be noted that it’s a figurative “knife” or a simile directly describing Ser Waymar Royce’s build. So it might be appropriate for Waymar’s actual “knife” to somehow represent a pair of figurative eyes, right? Unbeknown to Will, Waymar is unwittingly standing at the precipice of a colossal obsidian mirror (the great rock), intensely focused on the reflection of his own sword. His face, reflective under the moonlight, appears gaunt with hollow sockets. In the opening moments of Waymar’s “dance” Will dares to hope. Waymar’s pose presents his challenge, “Dance with me then”. The two sapphire gems, one at each end on the actual guard of his sword hilt, are momentarily paused and overlaying the shadowy orbital cavities of his reflection, the “white shadow”. The trembling of Waymar’s blade amplifies the sapphire brilliance on the guard. The blur of their blue glow is made more intense, brighter than any human eyes. With the blade raised above his head, the wrist of his moleskin glove hides the large sapphire on the pommel, keeping it out of Will's view. Will observes the Other, Waymar’s reflection, as it halts. Its gaze, mirroring Waymar’s, appears “fixed” upon Ser Waymar Royce’s actual longsword. The term "fixed" in this context leaves room for an additional layer of interpretation that’ll challenge our initial comprehension of the phrase. "Fixed” does more than just depict the unyielding stare; it also delineates the physical location of the jewels (or eyes) as being on the sword's hilt. These jewels (sapphires) are yet "fixed” to the hilt of the longsword, seemingly revealing their true nature. This revelation adds real depth to our narrative. These eyes, with a measure of certainty, are the jewels of Ser Waymar Royce’s longsword, temporarily filling the dark and empty ocular space of the “white shadow’s” eyes. Later, a single blue eye is juxtaposed with Ser Waymar Royce’s wounded left eye. Will had discovered the hilt of Waymar's sword amidst the scattered pieces of splintered glass. As he closely examines it, he notices its twisted shape. But the fiery sapphire gem brings to mind a chilling resemblance to the white shadow’s piercing blue gaze from previously. After spending an entire night perched high in a tree, he finds himself examining the broken hilt. A mixture of anxiety and immobilizing fear arrests, his subconscious, rendering his cramping arm rigid and frozen as he stands up. The sight of Waymar triggers a surge of intrusive thoughts and haunting memories of the commander, whom he had abandoned in a moment of panick. These thoughts rush in, intensifying the anguish already burdening his fragile state. Within the theater of his mind, he envisions the eerie revival of his deceased leader, causing his joints to remain frozen and shattering his sanity. As like the initial incident, the hilt of the sword is within a mere feet of what Will perceives as a blue eye. He is, in fact, observing the larger sapphire on the pommel of Waymar’s sword, while the sapphires on the guard are below his focused field of vision, in his peripheral. Once more, Will’s subconscious, tricked by the terror of a seemingly resurrected Ser Waymar Royce, reconfigures the reality before him. His mind merges the sapphire, situated over Waymar’s right eye, within its socket. The horrifying sight of Waymar's gory injured eye and the blue blur make this amalgamation unmistakably real from Will’s point of view. Furthermore, the sapphires are not only associated with the color of eyes but also with the idea of illusion or deception. A prime example is the so-called "Sapphire Isle" of Tarth, which Brienne of Tarth's father allegedly named to project an illusion of wealth and deter raiders. In the Prologue, Will sees some "pale shapes" moving through the woods while looking for raiders. The "pale shapes" he spots are moonlight reflections from the facets on the sapphire gems in the hilt of Ser Waymar Royce's sword. Earlier, considering Martin's fondness for employing clever wordplay to subtly hint at things, I felt certain that I had stumbled upon a clue. Will, lost amidst the needles of an ancient sentinel tree while searching for a fire, presses his face against the trunk, sticky with sap. It is then that he notices some "pale shapes" gliding through the wood. To put it plainly, Will sees the moonlight reflecting off the facet-shaped reflections while searching for a fire, and his face sticky with tree sap. The words 'sap' and 'fire' present a play on words in that moment, and when combined (sap+fire), I believe they hint at what creates the "pale shapes". That sapphire obscuring Waymar's good eye, another optical illusion, pun intended, also conceals a hint to a broader theme. Waymar is grey-eyed with a grey so dark it appears black at night. His good eye produces an image which symbolizes the Yin within the Yang. His wounded eye, with a pale shaped pupil, is transfixed and full of blood. This blood appears black in the moonlight, a phenomenon known as the Purkinje effect. The image of his injured eye symbolizes the Yang within the Yin. This symbol of Yin/Yang, partly hidden by the sapphire, lends credibility to the ideas being proposed here. This sapphire, concealing the good eye, creates a deception, leading to an irrational conclusion. So if there are no “pale shapes” and no “white shadow”, how does Waymar die?…He doesn’t. In chapter 58 of ADWD, Jon XII, Jon takes special notice of a broken sword with three sapphires in the hilt. The hilt, north of the Wall, was making its way south at Castle Black and is quite possibly the very same hilt once belonging to Ser Waymar’s Royce. This hilt, possibly from the shattered sword that fell from Will’s nerveless fingers, is fixed with three sapphires and seems fitting for a knight, like Ser Waymar Royce, from a respected and influential noble house in the Vale, which pledges its allegiance to House Arryn, whose sigil is a sky-blue falcon. While the exact type and number of jewels on Ser Waymar sword’s hilt is not explicitly stated or revealed in Will's thoughts it nonetheless remains very possible. Indeed, whether it's the close association of the eyes with the sword, the striking similarity of a sapphire to the three blue eyes in the Prologue, the potential wordplay, the apparent illusion and deception represented by the sapphires, or the remarkably similar broken hilt recently uncovered, it's certainly worthwhile to consider the possibilities that might stem from these ideas. Undeniably, a significant portion of these concepts will hinge strongly on the notion that Will's state of mind has been compromised by the fear of his circumstances and his belief in the Old Gods. One might argue that the stars, like the sapphires, have aligned themselves perfectly, as though some unseen cosmic force was ever striving to maintain a balance, a harmony of ice and fire. Lastly, notice there’s no evidence of blue eyes the next time an Other appears on page. Sam’s Other is never described as having blue eyes. Because there’s no hilt?
  2. I see what you mean and agree. Not only do the “Others” not make a sound, they are truly mere figments of Will’s impaired reasoning. You’re right, went you say the ‘shadow’ could actually be more than a metaphor and if you’re thinking “ice magic” is ‘frozen fire’ than your right again. The “white shadow”, like the symbolic imagery of the Yin/Yang symbol suggests, is a mirrored reflection of Ser Waymar Royce himself (the Yang within the Yin). You mention ‘shadow babies’ … Recall Waymar’s “crowing glory”. On one hand the term “crowning” refers to the pride Waymar might have for his cloak; on the Other hand it refers to the stage of labour when a head “emerged from the dark of the wood” The magic that you mention is a mirror. It’s a popular fantasy trope and one that Martin has cleverly woven into the narrative. Frozen fire or volcanic glass is translucent and the only time the “white shadow” vanishes is when Waymar is circling. His cloak and dark hair render his body and all but his face invisible in the blackness of the mirror. A cloak of invisibility is another popular fantasy trope. At first glimpse, only Waymar’s head or face appears in the mirror as he’s circling and then it’s gone. Thus, the use of the term “crowning”. Let me explain, starting where I left off with the dirk…. The thoughts about “dagger” that you found interesting don’t include the dirk’s purpose. Martin uses it as a plot device. It serves to help disorient Ser Waymar Royce. His pirouette also has him lost amongst the grey-green pines. This is the reason he calls up to Will. He knows Will is “up the tree” but he just doesn’t know where the tree is in that moment. Will, too, is disoriented; thanks to being rushed by his commander, the lordling. He is lost amongst the needles and has to turn his head in order to orient himself toward the direction of Waymar’s call. From a narrative point of view it’s important that both characters are unaware of the direction they are looking in so they forget what they are looking at. The Yin/Yang symbol is more than just some symbolic imagery. It is literally the setting of the scene. Waymar is standing in the moonlit half of an ancient caldera. The undulating ridge on its distant edge cast in lunar shadow mimicking that of the Yin/Yang symbol’s sinuous line creating the darkness. The “great rock” is a colossal wall of obsidian obscured in the darkness of the wood. Both Will and Waymar are unaware that they are looking into the otherworldly depth of a black mirror. You mentioned “until they speak”, The voices that sound ‘like the cracking of ice on a winter lake’ and ‘sharp as icicles’ are actually the breaking of this volcanic glass. Will again misperceives what he’s experiencing.
  3. That’s a very good point and one I hadn’t considered. Thanks so much for responding. Perhaps another careful analysis could explain them differently, like it’s been done here with Will simply fainting. I’m not sure about your thoughts on the point of view being a “version” of omniscient narrator. When we accept the unexplained details, such as the knife held in Will’s teeth dropping to a branch when he opened his mouth, as a minor discrepancy than we are missing part of the story. Staying with a strict character POV explains why the knife (dirk) falling receives no accountability. Will never noticed the fact that he dropped it because he was so consumed with the fear of what he was seeing he never realized he dropped it. The dirk falling explains Waymar suddenly calling out, “Who goes there?” and the uncertainty in his challenge. Waymar’s challenge was to no one. He simply heard the impact of snow falling as a result of a small avalanche started from above by the dirk. So when Will thinks ‘The Others made no sound’, they are only a mere figments of his impaired reasoning at that point. Furthermore, the dirk sparks a movement from Waymar which begins to create some important symbolism. In response to the soft impact of falling snow, Waymar, dressed all in black, begins to move in a circular pattern. Set against an icy, moonlit snow-covered ridge, he will come to symbolize the Yin within the Yang. The Yang within the Yin is set to appear from the darkness of the woods in the ensuing moment. There’s other things that the dirk is associated with but I don’t want to belabor the point. As far as the TV show, I’m not sure Gared was the pov character. I can’t remember for sure but I think Gared accompanies both Will and Waymar to the campsite in the TV series. And I know for sure he is decapitated by an otherworldly being.
  4. Waymar's "cold butchery" might yet be significantly less gruesome than what Will seems to realize. The sequence of events surrounding Waymar’s butchery doesn’t make sense. The passage above begins with, >The watchers moved forward together, as if some signal had been given. Then, >Swords rose and fell, all in a deathly silence Supposedly, >It was cold butchery And, >The pale blades sliced through ringmail as if it were silk. And then, >Will closed his eyes. Then lastly, >Far beneath him, he heard their voices and laughter sharp as icicles. Why doesn’t Waymar scream and shriek or call out when swords rise and fall? Why “all in a deathly silence” during the “cold butchery”? And why does ‘Will close his eyes’ after “the pale blades sliced through his ringmail as if it were silk”? It doesn’t make sense, right? Strangely, Waymar, who previously screamed and shrieked in pain when injured, remains silent during his ‘cold butcherng’. This drastic change in the behavior of his reaction may suggest a contradiction worth examining. Following the butchering, why does Will close his eyes? He does this same thing another time… In this passage, it’s presumed by most that Will dies. But we are never truly given that explicitly. We never see him die and we never see his cold dead body later. It’s a cold icy touch and…..... …..nothing. It begs the question, what ultimately happens with Will? He could have fainted for all we know. The point is Will keeps closing his eyes and we're kept in the dark about many details. These details are especially crucial since Waymar rose again. We need more assurance about what Will truly witnessed. As the narrator, Will has proven to be unreliable throughout the entire prologue. For example, he loses his dirk and never tells us because he doesn’t realize it. Did you notice? The dirk is gone. Furthermore, from the passage above… he failed to call down a warning to Waymar, his voice seemingly failing him? It appears he has a tendency to freeze under stress. Following the loss of his dirk and his voice, he begins doubting his own senses after seeing the "white shadow". And so, considering that Will doesn't actually check Waymar's pulse, should we just assume that he's dead? Again here, there are some other things that beg questions. How does lying facedown in the snow, one arm outflung, with his cloak splayed out over him displaying a dozen slashes make him look young? The fetal position? Child pose? To my mind, I wonder if questioning the contradiction between slicing through ringmail as if it were silk and the concept of a "cold butchery" is merely a matter of semantics. The two seem to contrast sharply. One suggests a smooth, effortless, and quiet cut, while the other implies a noisy, brutal, savage act. It's almost as if they butchered him first “all in a deathly silence”, then quietly sliced him up as if preparing lunch meat -. This depiction strikes me as somewhat artificial and another contradiction worth examining. And looking at the scene again, there’s a hundred brittle pieces of a sword scattered around everywhere, spread out like it was raining needles, tiny, not too deadly, land mines set for anyone approaching. Lastly, here’s another question: Could the sword hilt that fell from Will's nerveless fingers, be the very same one that later made its way through the Wall at Castle Black, the one produced by a man and tossed into one of the carts arranged by the stewards? Jon appears to take particular notice of the hilt. The one adorned with three sapphire jewels. Who is the man with the broken hilt? Imagine if Will's memories are nothing more than illusions created by his own mind. He had shut his eyes even before the haunting voices reached his ears. The cold butchering, which never truly occurred, unfolded solely within the depths of his imagination. His cloak, already torn before reaching the ridge, remained unchanged, while his ringmail in reality remains unscathed. And what if Waymar was is alive, his resurrection merely a metaphorical rebirth as he stands tall once more? So first, >Will closed his eyes Then Will hears the voices as the watchers move forward, >The watchers moved forward** together, as if some signal had been given. He hears the broken shards, not voices, sharpe as icicles, being stepped on by the watchers, >Far beneath him, he heard their voices and laughter sharp as icicles. And he never sees or hears anything more, >It was cold butchery. >The pale blades sliced through ringmail as if it were silk. >Swords rose and fell, all in a deathly silence Waymar rises! And his fine cloak is torn, his face is a bloody mess because of the shard in his left eye. His cloak had been torn just before he reaches the top of the ridge by the freshly sharpened branches reaching and tugging on his splendid sable cloak. What about the burning blue pupil, right? It's simple, Will, known for his tendency to freeze under stress, is clutching it in his nerveless fingers while observing it, Waymar come into his view. The sword hilt had a sapphire in its pommel. Will, paralyzed in fear, is holding it with the pommel pointing upward. As Will rose and Waymar comes into view, the gem and Waymar's good eye align perfectly in Will's sight, creating an illusion of an Othered icy blue eye. These things all seem possible considering Will’s mental state. Likely the fiery gem brings to mind a chilling resemblance to the white shadow’s piercing blue gaze from just previously. And after spending an entire night perched high in a tree, he finds himself, mentall, not very sharpe. A mixture of anxiety and immobilizing fear arrests, his subconscious, rendering his cramping arm rigid and frozen as he stands up. The sight of Waymar triggers a surge of intrusive thoughts and haunting memories of the commander, whom he had abandoned in a moment of panick. These thoughts rush in, intensifying the anguish already burdening his fragile state. Within the theater of his mind, he envisions the eerie revival of his deceased leader, causing his joints to remain frozen and shattering his sanity. More thoughts, Was the man at Castle Black Waymar? Possibly… …but a better question might be, why was Waymar laying there in child pose for so long? Or….what about the watchers?
  5. The voice of the Other and the watchers are just another way George RR Martin tries to thematically connect the “watchers” to the “Other”. In two separate occurrences, Will falls victim to a misconception as he wrongly attributes the icy voices he hears to the Other and then the watchers. However, as we’ll come to realizes, these voices are merely the outcome of translucent shards of crystal breaking. Exhausted, the first situation transpires after Waymar repeatedly strikes his sword against a colossal stone mirror, aptly known as "the great rock". His sword, already bent and twisted, and despite the strange sound of metal against glass, continues hitting the target culminating in the crystal-like stone cracking and producing many razor-sharpe, needle-like, slivers. One of which threads its way through the interlocking rings of the lordling’s armor. The smaller glass particles, micro shards, collect on the blade itself, still sticky with the sap from branches Waymar had been slashing, making it appear white with frost in the moonlight. The moon’s light on the tiny crystal shards give it an eerie ghostly glow that appears bluish in the colossal mirror as it danced in the prolonged clash. During the part of the melee involving the initial injury, the subsequent paragraph reveals the instance when Will's hears a cracking sound that he misinterprets as the voice of the Other, comparing the sound to the cracking of ice on a winter lake. Will’s mind, convinced that it’s watching his commander duel some otherworldly being, struggles to comprehending the source of the sound. He never conceived the “great rock” could serve as a mirror. Additionally, the thought of the sound as mocking, adds another layer of symbolism and eeriness to an already surreal scene. Indeed, the term "mocking" is a clever play on words in this context. On one hand, it carries the connotation of ridicule or scorn as if his reflection seems to laugh at Waymar himself. Yet, on the other hand, it figuratively circles back to the mimicry of Waymar's movements by his reflection. Thanks for the hint George. The second situation comes as the watchers move forward, Waymar on his knees, surrounded by a hundred brittle pieces of broken obsidian. In his desperate attempt to shield himself from the harrowing reality of his situation Will involuntarily shuts his eyes but hears the soft echoes of the watchers moving forward, inadvertently crushing the thin slivers of broken crystal underfoot. Observe Martin's vivid depiction of the sounds, once again drawing a parallel to the ice in the Other voice. The piercing sounds are “sharp as icicles”, reminiscent of the sound’s original source from earlier, resembling a moment in the clash between two longswords, like “ice cracking on a winter lake”. The shape of broken shards, scattered around Waymar, are given form by the portrayal of the same ones they descended from, “a rain of needles”. The needle-like shards, akin to icy needles or icicles, had moments ago filled the air. The voices that Will hears are filtered by his blind perception, underscored by the “old stories” that once ‘had turned his bowels to water’. Ultimately, the voices and laughter that Will perceives are all manifestations of his own mind, born out of the fear and tension of the moment. The chilling atmosphere, the harrowing encounter with the “Other”, and his youthful lack of wisdom all contribute to the creation of these haunting auditory illusions. In the end, it is mostly the power of fear that lends these mental constructs their eerie presence and leaves a lasting impression on Will's senses. I admire Martin's ability to imbue his fictional universe's natural elements with human characteristics, subsequently captivating his readers. Similar to our ancestors, we are prone to accepting easily digestible truths. We resort to supernatural explanations in his realm to decipher the unknown. Just like the characters in his universe, we as readers, rely on supernatural entities to comprehend and rationalize certain occurrences in Martin's fictitious world. In this sense, we become one with the point of view characters.
  6. I think in the same way. How bout Howland Reed as: how to read the land……? Waymar’s duel takes place in an ancient caldera which cradles a symbol of duality, the Yin and Yang symbol.
  7. And those scrying gynecologists should thank Martin for having a hard time clearing their mind of work when seeking divine knowledge. What I believe we are looking at is analogous to another creation story. It deals with some more wordplay about an adamant sickle drawn forth from “the dark of the wood”[The euphemisms mentioned above] Adamant - a legendary stone of impenetrable hardness, formerly sometimes identified with the diamond. (i.e. The Great Rock) In the reality of the Waymar’s scene, the great rock is “frozen fire”, but symbolizes the diamond in the creation story. A familiar name used for diamonds is “Ice”. So an adamant sickle, in a way, can be called an “icicle”. In fact, we get a connection between “frozen fire” and “icicles” in this quote: An analysis of the scene reveals that the sounds Will hears are shards of “frozen fire” being stepped on. Like the one in Waymar’s eye. A broken icicle, figuratively, leaves “Ice” and sickle. Traveling through the window of the mind (Waymar’s eye and/or Will’s ears), a vortex into the subconscious, we exit through Bran’s eyes and see “Ice”, the sword, brought forth. Gared and the horse, through some more wordplay, symbolize the sands of time [outlined in another post]. The idea of the original “Ice” [a time piece] coming from the abyss [Mentioned above] I believe define space/time in this series.
  8. Previously in this thread I mentioned a discovery of some wordplay in the description of Waymar’s cloak. I pointed out the small fact that the words "as sin" could be spelled backwards to form "Nissa" This fed nicely into some other ideas I had about black mirrors. “The Great Rock” Here’s a quick rewrite I did of the following passage with the idea of Waymar standing before a black mirror: The winds no longer whispered as the "dance" in the clearing is about to commence. Waymar pauses and releases a calming breath to temper the steel in his nerves. It is literally and figuratively a pivotal moment as Waymar's back turns to Will. In this moment, something peculiar happens. Waymar sees the vague features of a pale-white face, devoid of emotions, suspended before him. It had no fear; it was, in a way, fear itself. Waymar could no longer deny his fear. It was staring right at him. His voice cracks as he whispers a cold warning, "Come no farther." At the same instant just before Waymar throws his cloak back over his shoulders; crowning from the thick soft feminine abyss of the Goddess “Nissa” comes the head of a supernatural frozen-being in all of its’ glory. The thick, soft, feminine abyss is a euphemism I made up for Nissa’s ho-haa but it matches the cloak: “thick and black and soft” And the crowning of the supernatural, frozen-being in all of its glory is another way of saying… The crowning of a shadow(white) in all of its’ glory matches the colloquial moniker Will, in his head, gives the cloak: “his crowning glory”. Of course “crowning” replaces “emerged” in the second quote. Crowning is the stage of labor when the infants head is passing through the ho-haa. Continuing with the euphemisms… If “the wood” is a euphemisms for a man’s reproductive sword “the dark of the wood” would be the euphemism for a woman’s ho-haa in this case. I’m saying that in the same way Waymar’s cloak is “as sin”; the same is true for the cloak’s reflection [invisible in a black mirror because it doesn’t reflect moonlight] being Nissa’s ho-haa. An invisible cloak symbolizing Nissa’s ho-haa seems right in-line with Martin’s sense of humor. I know many in this forum aren’t familiar with or agree with my ideas about the “the great rock” but this does give much more context to my previously mentioned wordplay and adds lots more play on words. One more underdeveloped thought that came to me was perspective. Depending on our perspective we might be seeing the crowning of a shadow from Nissa; from another perspective we might be seeing the penetration into Nissa as something tall and gaunt and hard as old bones, milky-white. Another euphemism? Not sure; but all of the swords in the Prologue are a personification of the characters. *Melisandre’s “shadows baby” would seem perfect as an inverse parallel to this idea. Maybe instead of a mirrored “white shadow” projection; we have shadowy injection created with fire.
  9. I agree that, “going from the Purkinje effect to the Others don’t really exist”, would be a big jump. But if your seeing the imagery in Waymar’s eyes than consider it a little further. It’s no jump to assume that “the blind white pupil of his (Waymar’s) left eye” is one of the “hundred brittle pieces” that scattered “like a rain of needles”. The phrase “like a rain of needles” is a simile directly comparing the scattering “shards” to “needles”. Figuratively, it’s a needle in the eye. The idea of A Rain of Needles” seems to rhyme with the idea of “A Storm of Swords”. Both “A Needle” and “A Storm” each have “An Eye”. The eye in them seems to represent an opening or a vortex. But here in this scene it’s reversed, like Yin/Yang. We figuratively have “A Needle in the Eye”. It is the thing which enters or threads the eye. Somewhere I read that long ago the idea of sticking “a needle in the eye” was done on corpses. It was a custom to make sure that someone wasn’t still alive before they were buried. This idea was used in an old childhood saying, “I cross my heart, hope to die, stick a needle in my eye”. The saying decrees that a needle be stuck in the eye of someone that should die if they break their word or promise or oath. Here, we could theorize that this is an obvious allusion to “The Pact”. Waymar is the youngest son of House Royce. The Royces are proud descendants of the First Men. As part of the pact, the First Men agreed that the children would retain the standing forests and the FM would not harm anymore trees. Yet Waymar slashed at a branch, likely many, as he gained the ridge. Effectively marring the way. I like an idea of the sword, representing an oath, or a promise, or solemn words. Thus in turn a broken sword, figuratively, represents broken words which also happen to be anagrams for each other. Figuratively these ideas seem logical and might be interesting but they are still conjecture. What’s most important to the point here is that there’s more that meets the eye, literally. Literally, there’s enough evidence to conclude that the “blind white pupil” or shard that transfixed the left eye is a piece of volcanic glass, frozen fire, shaped like an icicle. One end impales and the other (a round base) is pale from the moonlight. It’s sharper than any razor and sounds like the cracking of ice on a winter lake when the source of its’ origin is struck again and again. It can pierce ringmail and produce a high, thin sound at the edge of hearing, like an animal screaming in pain, when struck by metal. In fact, Will covers his ears against the strange anguished keening of its clash with a sword. It makes sense that the shard in Waymar’s eye comes from another translucent shard of crystal. They both were alive with moonlight. Additionally, the idea that micro-shards of this glass gathered on the blade of Waymar’s sword, sticky with sap, explains the frost-covered look of his longsword, like moonlight on new-fallen snow. The fact that the original shard seemed so thin that it almost vanished when seen edge-on is one piece of evidence that the sword was only a reflection of another sword (Waymar’s). When seen edge-on, the sword would seem to vanish when there was no surface for the moon’s light. Frozen Fire (white pupil) and Burning Ice (blue pupil) would seem to give added support to this conclusion; that the shard in Waymar’s left eye is obsidian?
  10. Lol…I suck at showing anyone the light. I’m like that person with an old Bic lighter standing in the rain,…meaningless sparks. I suppose it’s partly because uninventing the “big bad” seems to take too much from the story. But that’s not what I was trying to do. Originally, I was looking for clues about the valuable axe in the chapter. And then found what appeared to be, at first, a mistake; when Martin has Will call down a warning to Waymar; or should I say TRY to call down a warning. I thought he forgot that Will had a dirk in his mouth. But later I found that, it too, was intentional. The point is, that’s how I found the image that we agree is intentional. I wasn’t looking for it. I had no preconceived theory. In fact, lots of people have never seen it; but it’s undeniably there. After that I considered why Martin might create the image and the only stuff I could come up with was conjecture. But one other thing I learned with the Dirk was that Will can be unreliable as a narrator. So I did another careful reread of the Prologue and came again to the passage where Will thinks Waymar’s blood “seemed red as fire”. Long story short, beyond the figurative meaning of the short phrase I considered the literal meaning. Why would it only “seem” red to Will? I forget how I found the answer to my question but most important is I found the answer. The answer was the Purkinje effect; which deals with psychology. It says that red under low light conditions will seem darker. Take a look . So “red as fire” will seem black as fire and this is not conjecture. Ultimately this understanding leads to Waymar’s injured eye; the one with the “blind white pupil”. The eye is bleeding with the same blood with what seems to be black with a “white pupil”. His healthy eye is white with a black pupil. The symbolism here matching the previous imagery seems intentional. Wouldn’t you agree? Again, I wasn’t looking for this. It simply presented itself when I looked at it in the right way. I apologize for the lengthy response. I’m trying to understand where my communication with the masses is breaking down. And thanks for the Sandoq the Shadow thought. I haven’t read Fire and Blood yet; however, at a glance there’s some obvious parallels.
  11. I see the “**Great Rock**” with ‘**a snow-covered lean-to against it**’ in the Prologue of AGOT as a parallel image to “**a huge dark shape**” half-buried in a “waist-high” snowdrift from Bran 1 in AGOT. The foot of shattered antler, tines snapped off, all wet with blood, hard as old bones would parallel the “white shadow” [Needs lots more explanation] The terms “bit” and “snarling” and “shattered”begin to bring into focus Waymar’s duel as a parallel to the moments just before the death of the mother direwolf. [Needs lots more explanation] I’ve also posted how the “**the Great Rock**” is an obsidian black mirror, “**a huge dark shape**” hard beside a stream on a riverbank. The “**lean-to**” likely made from the skin of a dead stag and dead branches. This parallel figuratively presents us with a sword in the stone (excalibur from Arthurian legend).
  12. So your saying that the imagery was unintentional? Did you also read my write about Waymar’s eyes? How bout the coincidental wordplay with “Hè tù”? For arguments sake, ASOIAF dragon bones aren’t “iron-based”. They simply have high iron content. For that matter, your bones have iron in the marrow. More to the point is that Martin seems to want to keep his fiction well grounded in science. To my thought, where things become more grey [more like fiction] are toward the outer fringes of science. (i.e. the effect of infrasound on our bodies).
  13. My post was in reference to the OP’s example supporting the claim about “supernatural powers existing”. I’m suggesting that the Prologue is a bad example. I believe I’ve found enough evidence, at least in the subtext of the Prologue, to explain away “supernatural powers” with regards to the Others and the reanimating of Waymar. And while outlining some imagery, a clue, that will lead to an alternate conclusion I offered up my opinion on why Martin does this. But… entertaining your post… Flying reptiles, like Direwolves, though extinct, once truly existed. The fire breathing “workaround” could be a good discussion topic, I guess. were you able to envision the imagery I outlined?:)
  14. I think GRRM endeavors to make his readers ask the question, “Do supernatural powers actually exist in ASOIAF”? Just like in our world; the best magicians try to get you to believe. At least in the Prologue of AGOT; a deep dive into the subtext (a peek behind the curtain) reveals or explains (using “naturalistic explanations”) the events of Waymar’s apparent duel to the death using literary tricks of the trade. For example, one of the clues found in the subtext is the imagery Martin creates with the Waymar dueling scene itself. Buried in the subtext is an image of the Yin and Yang symbol. Seen from Will’s perspective: Waymar, against the backdrop of a ridge covered in a thin crust of snow, “dress all in black”, “turning in a slow circle, suddenly wary, his sword in hand” perfectly personifies the black dot in the white half of the circle. The white dot is represented by the tall “white shadow” that Will glimpses, the one that “emerged from the dark of the wood”. The sinuous line that separates the two halves is symbolic of the flowing graceful movements of the “dance”. The two combatants, at least figuratively, complement, and mutually exist symbiotically. Much like a shadow owing its birth to light. “In the light, we read the inventions of others; in the darkness we invent our own stories. ”, says **Alberto Manguel**. This is one, in a trail of breadcrumbs, that tells a completely different story. My point is, our author would have the readers believe in Magic. Why? For the same reasons people go to a magic show, it’s fun to be tricked or even believe. But for the analysts, us, it’s fun to figure out how he does the tricks.
  15. They is a vague pronoun. It comes with no description and leaves several possibilities open. It’s easy for our minds, looking for immediate answers, to be vulnerable to the suggestions that Martin gives us. Martin first dupes us by using the same words and a cadence with the same number of syllables(9) that he used when he first introduced “the Other” to us. He uses “emerged” and “shadow(s)” when “They” and the “Other” each make there entrance. Here are the two quotes side by side: Of course “shadows” from the second quote is a direct reference to “the dark of the wood” from the first quote. They all “emerged from the dark of the wood”. It’s also another solid link between the two lines. And we know from this other passage that the “shadow” in the first quote was also silent. In fact, the second passage begins and ends with silence. Understandably it would be extremely tough for our minds to consider any other possibility for a ‘twin’ with the “Other” juxtaposed here. But let’s look anyways. Here’s the limited description of the “watchers” that Martin gives us. This paragraph was placed between two passages of Waymar’s fight sequence; so you may have slipped right past it. It’s conveniently easy to see the parallels with ‘the delicate armor with shifting patterns like those in the woods’ with the description of the Other’s armor. The fact that it “seemed to change color as it moved” and the patterns running like moonlight on water with every step it takes does vaguely mirror the “shifting patterns” of the forest worn by the “watchers”. But that’s the conclusion Martin wants us to come to. There’s another option. The woman up in the ironwood, half-hid in the branches, a far-eyes, Could also be “the first” that Will has in his head (Note: A “far-eyes” and the “watchers” are similar terms) She’s the one that Will strangely “smiles thinly” about. What’s up with that? Moving on, half-hid in the branches” also vaguely parallels “shifting patterns” of a forest. Furthermore, “delicate” is a good term for cloaks of leaves that the Children of the Forest wear; who are additionally described as having skin “dappled” like a doe’s. “Dapple”, recall from above, is a term used by our author describing the “Other’s” armor. The Children of the Forest are female like the woman in the ironwood. The Children of the Forest are strongly associated with the “Others” and who I believe Martin diverting our attention away from. At this point in the story there are “three of them … four … five …” and one more (Ash, Black Knife, Coals, Leaf, Scales, Snowylocks). These children are a nice parallel to the ones in the last scene of the next chapter, which also has an ironwood tree, well kinda. A stump and a bridge with planks likely harvested from it. The scene also has a huge dark shape slumped in death half-buried in a snow drift which parallels a snow-covered lean-to up against the great rock. The lean-to is likely made of dead branches and deerskin (stag). And we see evidence for a stag with the antler that Robb finds in the dead mother direwolf. Both the great rock and the dead mother direwolf are “hard” beside a river. The parallels continue but the idea of children paralleling pups is strong. This would explain the absence of the wildling raiders that never were. Will, like Robb thought, in the next chapter was wrong in his assumption. Notice the mention of “girl children” and half-human children.
  16. This one comes as a clue to the activity Will (POV) witnessed just prior to the opening scene of the series. Are you seeing the same kind of direct connections?
  17. A little wordplay... Crying is a synonym for weeping. And recall what Will said about the Wall when Waymar asked him about it? Now here’s the wordplay… [Scrying] tries to discover hidden knowledge or future events, especially by means of a black mirror, water, or crystal ball. Black mirror, like the “Great Rock” [obsidian or frozen fire]. Who was scrying in the “Great Rock” doesn’t really fit in this thread; but I was excited to share the wordplay.
  18. ‘Does this impact my perspective on the CotF?’ —I’m stuck amongst the trees, like you suggest, having a hard time perceiving the forest. In the Prologue the Other is literally and figuratively presented as a force of nature. So whether it’s a volcano, a meteor, or some Other global cataclysmic event it’ll unite the scattered shards of society and reforge them into something new. (I’m guessing a volcano will be the cause) The uniting fear, the Others cause, will continue to build to some end. And I agree there’s no difference in the adult fairtale threats and the literal fairytale monsters that Children believe in, fear unites. The term ‘white shadow’ is an inverse reference to the uncivilized even primitive side of Ser Waymar Royce’s nature. Inverse reference, meaning Waymar indifference to all that surrounds him and the vain self-entitled persona that makes up the parts of him are in contrast to the ‘white shadow”. Carl Jung, an influential Swiss psychiatrist and psychotherapist, explains how we all have ‘a shadow self’, which is generally made up of the parts of ourselves we deem unacceptable, such as sadness, rage, laziness, and cruelty. To say that one has become a ‘shadow of one’s self’ refers to the idea that one has become weaker, physically or mentally. **Note the contrast in these two quotes**: >Ser Waymar Royce was the youngest son of an ancient house with too many heirs. He was a handsome youth of eighteen, grey-eyed and graceful and slender as a knife. >Tall, it was, and gaunt and hard as old bones, with flesh pale as milk. The shadow characteristics explained by Jung are mostly formed by shame. These characteristics are thoughts, desires, wishes, feelings, cravings and urges that one’s own ego does not accept. According to Jung “a shadow” is a symbol that represents the hidden side of every human psyche. The Shadow is composed of hidden aspects of an individual’s personality that are deemed as “unacceptable,” and tucked away into the hidden parts of their mind. So I find it somewhat interesting that the HBO TV show doesn’t include Waymar’s duel and replaces the imagery of the Yin/Yang symbol with the theta symbol at the end of the scene. I assume the theta symbol refers to the brainwaves the govern our dream or meditative states, our shadow thoughts. Lastly, prophecies , dreams, oaths, and promises. — The CotF, who scry, have been victims of mock oaths and broken promises are, I believe, the ones creating the fear to unite the peoples of plantoes. Like Dany, the end justifies the means.
  19. Martin, our famed author and broad scholar of many things, is ingeniously leading readers on a wild venture beginning with three rangers, a “white shadow” and some other things. Fiddling with many different literary instruments and tricks of his trade he skillfully composes the “Song” while at the same time befooling us all. The appearance of the “white shadow” in the Song, at its’ base, represents a chord that brings balance to Ser Waymars fight scene. But the shadow, that stood in front of Royce, isn’t what it appears to be. However, it’s arrival on page does bring to fruition an image hidden subtly in plain sight. The image, a symbol, is of flowing harmony, looking like this: (^Touch^This ☯️) ###It symbolizes the principals of Chinese philosophy and is personified in the duel of Waymar and the “white shadow” as seen from above by Will high in a sentinel tree. Martin begins to create the the image in the scene when Will unknowingly drops his dirk and Waymar hears it. Waymar, against the backdrop of a ridge covered in a white thin crust of new-fallen snow, “dressed all in black”, “turning in a slow circle, suddenly wary, his sword in hand” perfectly resembles the black dot superimposed on the white side of the circle. The white dot is a stand in for the tall “white shadow”, the one that “emerged from the dark of the wood”. The sinuous line that separates the two halves symbolizes the flowing graceful movements of their “dance”. The two combatants, at least symbolically, complement and symbiotically exist, like a shadow owing its birth to light. Here’s a quote from another source that I simply like—“In the light, we read the inventions of others; in the darkness we invent our own stories.”— Alberto Manguel. #Here’s the text outlining the scene: The image, which harkens back to ancient Chinese philosophy, is synonymous with the Hè tù or "Yellow River diagram". Hè tù, meaning river map in Chinese, is an ancient Chinese diagram concerning a real river that appears in myths and is associated with the invention of writing. It seems that Martin is paying homage to his own craft at the moment Will, our POV character, first glimpses the scene with the “white shadow”. And not coincidentally, it’s right after he hears the rush of a stream and right as… Notice that H-è-t-ù are the first four letters of the sentence that occurs at the precise moment the “white shadow” appears and completes the imagery. #Take a look… This understanding gives great insight to the nature of the “white shadow” and begins to unravel some of the Other mysteries here in the Prologue. It’s interesting to note that the diagram, first introduced by Neo-Confucian philosopher Zhou Dunyi, was derived during the era of the Song Dynasty. The symbol above in both its monist and its dualist aspects is representative of the series title “A Song of Ice and Fire”. Read more about it (Here) The dots in the modern "yin-yang symbol" have been given the additional interpretation of "intense interaction" between the complementary principles, i.e. a flux or flow to achieve harmony and balance. ###Does this mean that Ser Waymar Royce and the “white shadow” are parallel opposites with aspects of each other in them, that one is the darkness in the light and the Other is the light in the darkness, that there’s a mind/body component to them? Yes! It can be said that one foreshadows the Other. A shadow in the foreground… ? Martin, using another literary trick or instrument of his trade, literally composes the word foreshadow by placing a shadow in the foreground “in front of Royce”.
  20. (Spoilers Extended)The true nature of the “white shadow”… Martin, our famed author and broad scholar of many things, is ingeniously leading readers on a wild venture beginning with three rangers, a “white shadow” and some other things. Fiddling with many different literary instruments and tricks of his trade he skillfully composes the “Song” while at the same time befooling us all. The appearance of the “white shadow” in the Song, at its’ base, represents a chord that brings balance to Ser Waymars fight scene. But the shadow, that stood in front of Royce, isn’t what it appears to be. However, it’s arrival on page does bring to fruition an image hidden subtly in plain sight. The image, a symbol, is of flowing harmony, looking like this: Touch this ☯️ It symbolizes the principals of Chinese philosophy and is personified in the duel of Waymar and the “white shadow” as seen from above by Will high in a sentinel tree. Waymar, against the backdrop of a ridge covered in a white thin crust of new-fallen snow, “dressed all in black”, “turning in a slow circle, suddenly wary, his sword in hand” perfectly resembles the black dot superimposed on the white side of the circle. The white dot is a stand in for the tall “white shadow”, the one that “emerged from the dark of the wood”. The sinuous line that separates the two halves symbolizes the flowing graceful movements of their “dance”. The two combatants, at least symbolically, complement and symbiotically exist, like a shadow owing its birth to light. Here’s a quote from another source that I simply like—“In the light, we read the inventions of others; in the darkness we invent our own stories.”— Alberto Manguel. Here’s the text outlining the scene: There it is, right there, figuratively and literally, in black and white and few readers ever see it. And if you saw it before reading this than your mind’s eye has great vision. The image, which harkens back to ancient Chinese philosophy, is synonymous with the Hè tù or "Yellow River diagram". Hè tù, meaning river map in Chinese, is an ancient Chinese diagram concerning a real river that appears in myths and is associated with the invention of writing. It seems that Martin is paying homage to his own craft at the moment Will, our POV character, first glimpses the scene with the “white shadow”. And not coincidentally, it’s right after he hears the rush of a stream and right as… Notice that H-è-t-ù are the first four letters of the sentence that occurs at the precise moment the “white shadow” appears and completes the imagery. Take a look… This understanding gives great insight to the nature of the “white shadow” and begins to unravel some of the Other mysteries here in the Prologue. It’s interesting to note that the diagram, first introduced by Neo-Confucian philosopher Zhou Dunyi, was derived during the era of the Song Dynasty. The symbol above in both its monist and its dualist aspects is representative of the series title “A Song of Ice and Fire”. Read more about it Here The dots in the modern "yin-yang symbol" have been given the additional interpretation of "intense interaction" between the complementary principles, i.e. a flux or flow to achieve harmony and balance. Does this mean that Ser Waymar Royce and the “white shadow” are parallel opposites with aspects of each other in them, that one is the darkness in the light and the Other is the light in the darkness, that there’s a mind/body component to them? Yes! It can be said that one foreshadows the Other. A shadow in the foreground… ? Martin, using another literary trick or instrument of his trade, literally composes the word foreshadow by placing a shadow in the foreground “in front of Royce”.
  21. Or a real threat that uses mirror images or divination. i.e. CotF
  22. Here’s a little breakdown of some of the textual evidence from the subtext, In Waymar’s blind left pupil: The shard, a needle, the ”white pupil” is a needle in his eye and an allusion to an old childhood saying about broken promises or false oaths. The saying goes, “I cross my heart, hope to die, stick a needle in my eye”. We learn later that one of the major themes in the series is about a broken promise to the CotF. Side note: I wonder if Gared’s missing left little finger is because of a symbolic pinky swear he made. The shard: The “needle” that “transfixed” Waymar’s left eye came from “frozen fire” and is not actually from Waymar’s longsword. Martin conveniently leaves out the of fate of the pale sword, “alive with moonlight”, to obscure the identity of the needle’s source; But the shattered, brittle, translucent, shards are great words for volcanic glass and the “blind white pupil” alive with a pale moonlight. This “white” “frozen fire” pupil is surrounded by Waymar’s blood, “red as fire” and symbolic of the Yang half of the taijitsu or Yin/Yang symbol once we understand that the blood is black because of the Purkinje effect. Click https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Purkinje_effect?wprov=sfti1 The Other eye, that saw, is uninjured with the white sclera and a black pupil surrounded by a grey so dark it seems almost black. It represents the Yin side of the symbol. The white side with a black dot. Then what about the pupil that “burned blue”? Juxtaposed in front of Waymar’s right pupil is a “jewel”, a sapphire, the “blue” pupil. It’s “fixed” onto the broken sword end. The sword is an allusion to an old childhood saying about broken promises or false oaths or a broken word. The saying, “shiver me timbers” is an exclamation in the form of a mock oath usually attributed to the speech of pirates in the works of child fiction. The saying is found in the subtext. A sapphire, burning blue ice, is actually fixed on the pommel of Waymar’s broken sword hilt. And Will, muscles cramping and fingers numb holding a broken sword end, is mentally paralyzed with fear when Ser Waymar Royce stands over him. Will mistakes the sapphire for Waymar’s eye. The ”tree struck by lightning”, a metaphor for the two swords: one sword a tree and the other sword lightning. The metaphorically tree would have frozen red sap, “red as fire” or “red as a ruby” and the lightning would danced with pale blue light of burning blue sap fire(sapphire) or jewels. The longsword, like the tree, splintered and twisted and shivered into a hundred brittle pieces describes the origins of the saying. Click https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shiver_my_timbers?wprov=sfti1
  23. As I leaf through some previously chilly dormant parts of series I’ve found some words hotly at play in the text. There’s a cold burning relationship between Sap and Fire that feverishly and persistently exists. Separately, they are both cool metaphorical terms for warm blood and have a frigid association with eyes. The cold brooding weeping red eyes of the arid heart-trees were seemingly dripping (but now are frozen) with tears of bloody sap. Frozen sap seems to be another way of saying frozen fire. When we look at the eyes of Ser Waymar Royce the blood, seemingly red as fire, from his wounded left eye is bleeding because of a shard of frozen fire while the left eye is juxtaposed with a sapphire (sap+fire) in front of it. It appears the two words, sap and fire, have come together to forge a description of the juxtaposed pupil burning blue in front of Waymar’s right eye (Sap + (ph)Fire = sapphire). Another interesting note is that the frozen sap in the eyes of the heart-tree looks like rubies. Rubies and sapphire are nearly the same on a molecular level. We, as avid rereaders ASOIAF, understand that the icy eyes can be steamy hints to bloodlines. And that molten bloodlines provide an icy undercurrent to the whole series. And with a little research we learn that sapphires are the Yin to the Yang of the rubies. They are two aspects of a greater whole. Symeon Star-eyes and Aemond Targaryen both have have eyes replaced with sapphires. Symeon Star-eyes, a legendary figure from the Age of Heroes, is said to have sapphires for eyes and once saw fiery hellhounds fighting while visiting the snowy Nightfort. And the cold blooded Aemond Targaryen, also has one sapphire adorning his other good eye. He is a member of House Targaryen and his sigil is the a three-headed dragon breathing flames, red on black. And the sticky hands and cheek of sap belonging to the first POV character of the series, Will, up a tree looking for a fire also seems to combine, perhaps in his subconscious, both elements of “Sap” and “Fire”.
  24. Ahhh:) Then where were we? You’re right that black absorbs. But like your cell phone powered down will reflect the light of a flashlight in a dark room. So does obsidian. But Waymar’s cloak likely makes him invisible in the mirror. That’s how the white shadow appears and disappears when Will initially sees it. Spells are words believed to do magic. A broken sword with magical runes on it can be said to have had it’s spell broken. Light from full risen half moon on a cloudy night is what’s lighting the obsidian wall or mirror in front of Waymar. A sword can break and I agree not shatter. Did you notice the needle in the eye?
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