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Posts posted by Nadden

  1. 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 described to appear like a sapphire (sap+fire). It appears the two words, sap and fire, have come together to forge a description of the pupil burning blue in 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”.

  2. 16 hours ago, sweetsunray said:

    It's not just in the official licensed calendar, but also an illustration in the illustrated version of aGoT by Bantam books. George RR Martin is consulted by illustrators and he reviews illustrations, giving feedback if it does not match with his vision. So, even if an illustration is an adaptation by the illustrator and therefore an interpretation, George would not okay an illustration that opposes his own vision. The depiction of the Iron Throne is a famous example of this.

    You argue that it's incorrect because it depicts Waymar's left eye intact and his sword isn't shattered yet. The sword not being shattered yet and the eye still being intact is actually a correct combination. It just means it depicts the confrontation prior to Waymar's sword shattering and getting a piece of it in his eye.

    Well if the sit-downs between the illustrators and Martin were anything like the show runners and our author there again I’m not sure if we should put complete faith in the illustrators interpretation.

    And I don’t mean to simply argue; but, the sequence of events, from Will’s perspective, has the sword shattering then the eye injury and then Waymar taking a knee. He doesn’t drop to his knee before the injury.

    Perhaps any visual interpretation of the Prologue by illustrators or show directors risks giving away too much and thus Martin allows them to play into the vague terms and misconceptions of POV character. Will, as an unreliable narrator, has lots of latitude.

    The show and I’m guessing  the illustrated books both don’t show the parallels you’ve discovered. And I have no doubt that Martin intended for those scenes to be parallel.

    One of the other parallels in the two scenes is the bolt from the crossbow that kills Kevan and the “pale sword” that is described like a bolt of lightning.



    -There was a faint blue shimmer to the thing, a ghost-light that played around its edges, and somehow Will knew it was sharper than any razor.

    -The pale sword came shivering through the air.

    -the Other's danced with pale blue light.

    -He found what was left of the sword a few feet away, the end splintered and twisted like a tree struck by lightning.


    The last six words in the last quote above is a simile that directly compares the “pale sword” to lightning.

  3. 6 hours ago, sweetsunray said:


    And this is the official image of children of the forest used in the World Book.


    I bought the World Book too, love it, and it’s my understanding that the producers of the book worked closely with Martin.

    But I think where we are disagreeing is who the “twins to the first” are. The ones in that illustration can easily be considered to be standing patient, faceless and silent.


    Behind him, to right, to left, all around him, the watchers stood patient, faceless, silent, the shifting patterns of their delicate armor making them all but invisible in the wood. Yet they made no move to interfere.


    They emerged silently from the shadows, twins to the first. Three of them … four … five … Ser Waymar may have felt the cold that came with them, but he never saw them, never heard them. Will had to call out. It was his duty. And his death, if he did. He shivered, and hugged the tree, and kept the silence.

    They emerged from the shadow. But I don’t think they were twins to the shadow. It’s reasonable that Will, remembering the “far-eyes” would think these “watchers” looked the same. But certainly the shifting patterns of the delicate armor making them all but invisible in the wood isn’t enough lock this in as fact; but your parallel certaintly helps.

  4. 6 hours ago, sweetsunray said:


    This image was used for the official 2016 Calendar, and a cropped black/white version is also used in the illustrated hard cover edition of aGoT.

    So it's very much an "official" illustration about the Others versus Waymar Royce. One Other is very much in the forefront confronting Waymar who's on his knees. But there are 2 "watching" vaguer Others in the background.

    Ahhh yes:) This is a popular picture and, as a piece of art, I think it’s amazing. And I believe you’re probably right about it being apart of official 2016 calendar. And personally I don’t know what it means to be “official”. I assume there’s some type of contract involving copyrights and trademarks and so forth. But it obviously doesn’t speak to the accuracy of the illustration relative to the scene in the book. 



    When the blades touched, the steel shattered.
    A scream echoed through the forest night, and the longsword shivered into a hundred brittle pieces, the shards scattering like a rain of needles. Royce went to his knees, shrieking, and covered his eyes. Blood welled between his fingers.
    The watchers moved forward together, as if some signal had been given.


    There are no shattered swords. The swords shattered before he went to his knees and a shard went into his eye. And it must have been Waymar’s right eye that was bloody and injured because his left eye looks pretty good.
    And Waymar in the illustration seems to be handling better than book Waymar, screaming and covering both eyes.
    These seem like big details that might make this great piece of art useless for book analysis. 
    P. S. Thanks for the message!
  5. 3 hours ago, Melifeather said:

    @Nadden this thread that I've tagged you on is Heresy 245 The Alpha and the Omega and what lies between. It's the newest Heresy thread. You and I were discussing your black mirror theory on thread 244 (or was it 243?) which is fine since it's not locked yet. But don't worry about hijacking a thread. Heresy is moderated by Black Crow and if he thinks you're hijacking his thread he'll let you know. If he doesn't object, then fire away. We miserable Heretics pride ourselves on maintaining a civil discussion with good humor - especially when we don't agree. We are more likely to tell you the reason "why" we don't agree with something than discourage your ideas with personal attacks.


    :)Then where were we? 



    Black mirrors cannot reflect as the color black absorbs light.

    The author has made his rules for how obsidian works in this world. The obsidian can be fashioned into a blade or spear and used to break magic spells as demonstrated by Sam when he stabbed the white walker that Heresy has dubbed Ser Puddles. Where was the black mirror there?

    The second way obsidian is used is for scrying through a black candle which needs to be lit. We have yet to learn how they are lit, but we do know it’s not with a match or source of fire. Acolytes spend the night trying to light a black candle so I doubt a campfire would do the trick.

    The point about negative temperatures being necessary to shatter Waymar’s sword was to support the fact that “frozen fire” would not be cold enough to shatter steel. In fact, obsidian is so brittle it would stand no chance against steel. Waymar could whack his sword repeatedly against an obsidian mountain and never shatter his sword.


    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?

  6. 4 hours ago, Melifeather said:

    Black mirrors cannot reflect as the color black absorbs light.

    The author has made his rules for how obsidian works in this world. The obsidian can be fashioned into a blade or spear and used to break magic spells as demonstrated by Sam when he stabbed the white walker that Heresy has dubbed Ser Puddles. Where was the black mirror there?

    The second way obsidian is used is for scrying through a black candle which needs to be lit. We have yet to learn how they are lit, but we do know it’s not with a match or source of fire. Acolytes spend the night trying to light a black candle so I doubt a campfire would do the trick.

    The point about negative temperatures being necessary to shatter Waymar’s sword was to support the fact that “frozen fire” would not be cold enough to shatter steel. In fact, obsidian is so brittle it would stand no chance against steel. Waymar could whack his sword repeatedly against an obsidian mountain and never shatter his sword.

    I have to apologize, I’ve learned that I’ve got a few things to learn about etiquette. I’ve learned that I’ve rudely hijacked a thread. I’ll look for a different thread that I’ve started. Sorry!

  7. 2 hours ago, LongRider said:

    Please do that in your own thread, because how many threads do you plan to overwhelm with your conceit?  Folks aren't getting your theory because there is no coherent theory here.  Give it a rest, I wanted to read more about Sweetsunray's ideas, and you have highjacked the thread, like you've done to other threads on this board.  Please, open your own thread for your ideas. 

    I apologize. Looking back at it, I think you’re right. In my excitement to share my ideas I’ve not been very inconsiderate of sweetsunray’s thread. You’re right, I need to change my approach. My social etiquette with these online forums is poor. Sorry


    On 4/3/2023 at 8:27 AM, kissdbyfire said:

    No, they’re not different in any way. I have no idea where you’re getting this from? 

    I’ll try to explain better.

    It didn’t start with @sweetsunray; but the mention of the parallels between Waymar’s apparent cold butchering and Kevan’s death scene helped tremendously.

    Initially, I’d seen a video saying that some of the inspiration for “A Song of Ice and Fire” came from a short poem written by Robert Frost.  At around that time I was redrafting an old essay about Waymar’s sword as a personification of him. Many aspects of Waymar’s sword are similar to him. And so when I reread Waymar shouting, “For Robert”,  while lifting his frost-covered longsword and then finding his fury I immediately thought there could be a connection  with the author Robert Frost. Words and swords, anagrams for one another, seem closely associated with each other and brings to mind an old metonymic adage, “The pen is mightier than the sword”. The title of the popular poem, ’Fire and Ice’, is (in part) a reverse copy of the title of this series. And, as I intend to discuss, is uniquely and skillfully associated with Waymar’s eyes. At the same time I’d seen the video, I had been rereading the ‘Prologue of AGOT’ trying to keep in mind that everything in the Prologue is from Will’s POV. Personally, I often find myself forgetting to consider perspective and I miss some of the details; but searching for answers to some other questions I doubled my focus. 

    Take for example how Will addresses Waymar out loud compared to the way he refers to him in his head. Will, listening to Waymar trying to bait Gared into a quarrel, silently labels Waymar as a “lordling”. It’s a diminutive title with a derogatory connotation. Out loud however; Will, only ever addresses Waymar as “m’lord”. There was one exception, it was when Will was feeling insolent and he sarcastically uses both syllables formally addressing him as, “my lord”. Even the time when Waymar points out how the Wall was weeping and how the cold wasn’t fierce enough to kill eight grown men Will feels no respect for Waymar. Will doesn’t think of Waymar as smart. In fact, he frowns at his arrogance, as Waymar nods and smiles looking cocksure. We know that because, in the moment of clarity, Will refers to him as a “lordling” again. The point is, I’d missed the fact that Will is never openly disrespectful. My mind often drifts from Will’s point of view to an omniscient point of view and I miss some of the smaller important details.

    Another case in point and one of the answers I was searching for was in regards to Will’s dirk. Initially, I had missed the fact that Will actually drops his dirk. Maybe you missed it too…the dirk that Waymar had put between his teeth to keep both hands free for climbing falls out when he opens his mouth to call down a warning to Waymar after seeing the pale shapes (a knife rose and fell:)). Will immediately tries calling to Waymar, who was looking sudden wary. The knight then starts turning in a circle. After realizing what I had missed, I thought to myself, ‘Why doesn’t Martin call anymore attention to this detail? And why create this action in the first place?’ To answer my first thought  — because Will didn’t know he dropped it. And therefore we, the reader, don’t know he drops it. We, the reader, have to infer it from when he opens his mouth and suddenly Waymar is wary. Lastly, this action will help to partly set up the scene. And so…

    …So while still considering perspective and learning about the inspiration of “Fire and Ice” another thought came to me.  I note how the title of the poem and the title of our story are inverse of each other. A sort of alternate point of view if you will. Consider this…

    This idea of parallel opposites aligns with some of the imagery I found some time ago. Take a moment and try to imagine or picture in your head an image of the Taijitu symbol or a sign for Yin/Yang …

    Now, using your minds eye, consider the Other’s perspective as we see Waymar, dressed in all black, turning in a circle against the backdrop of a ridge covered in a light snow from the night before. He’s about to dance with a “white shadow” emerging from the dark of the wood. A light snow and a dark wood are two opposite aspects of the settings symbolizing the two halves of the Yin and Yang symbol. The two figures in the scene appear  in contrast with each half of the setting from which they emerge. They themselves are parallel opposites and are about to “dance”. The dancing, I believe, symbolizes the flowing relationship and sinuous line between the two halves of the Taijitu symbol.

    Taking a broader look at the chapter   we begin to see that the same structure exists…

     …the two trees cast in the Prologue symbolize the two black and white dots of the Taijitu symbol. The ironwood, its’ wood hard and black, represents yin and the sentinel, soft and chapter begins before night falls. Will, using the daylight, spots a woman half-hid up an ironwood. The wood of an ironwood, a deciduous tree, is hard and black; a blackwood tree in the light of day. After night falls, in the second half of the chapter, Will is lost amongst the needles of a snow-cover evergreen, a soft wood sentinel tree; a snow-cover sentinel in the dark of night; two parallel opposites with the trees as parallel opposite aspects in each. Additionally, Will thinks the woman is frozen while he had been commanded to look for fire.

    I wonder, because Martin doesn’t use an outline, if this organization of two halves mingling together with aspects of the other in each helps him to maintain some type of structure and balance. He is a self-proclaimed gardener when it comes to how he writes; meaning he likes to allow his story to grow organically. This idea seems to illustrate some structural pattern. And there’s more evidence…

    To me, the taijitu image or inverse parallels crystallize and becomes more clear each time I read that chapter.

    Looking up the definition for the term Martin later uses for the “white shadow” helps to further validate this idea of inverse parallels or Yin and Yang; The “Other” with a capital “O” means “a person or thing that is the counterpart of someone or something else”

    I’ve considered the idea of the Other coming from some type of parallel alternate reality. But I’ve shelved that idea. Though I love it and intend on returning to it at some point.

    For now, I’ve seen the taijitsu symbol as showing some structure, in both a meta and micro sense, of both the whole scene and smaller moments.

    For example, when the “white shadow” stands in front of Royce. A shadow in the foreground can be interpreted as foreshadowing. But since Waymar is about to fight the shadow then perhaps we can look at this as a form of shadow boxing, except with swords. Or perhaps it can be interpreted either way. The latter again shows two aspects of a single being.

    And what I mean by micro is the same structure can be found in the smaller details of this scene. The half moon that Will sees seems like a hint at this concept. And again we are reminded of this concept when Will, in the sentinel tree, thinks he hears “a distant hoot of a snow owl” and then thinks he sees it reflection of a bird on the snow. Will thinking of a white snow owl in the dark of the wood and thinking he sees a shadow of bird on the surface of a light snow combine, in Will’s head, to form two aspects of the same thing.

    The fact that those thoughts, that came to Will as he looked and listened, combine in his head alludes to some subconscious thinking. The subconscious becomes an interesting topic for this chapter. Without going into that topic too deep here I’d like to point out that show runners conclude the prologue scene with a symbol for theta. Theta brainwaves known as the ‘suggestible waves’, because of their prevalence when one is in a trance or hypnotic state are the state of the brain found to be in a daydreaming or meditative state. But like Will’s subconscious, I believe the subtext really begins to reveal other aspects of the narrative. So, starting at the end, we begin to look back.

    First, looking at the symbolism in the eyes of Ser Waymar Royce from Will perspective — keep in mind the eye on the left is Waymar’s right eye and the right, his left — reads like the title of Robert Frost’s poem, “Fire and Ice”; but, from Waymar’s perspective we get “Ice and Fire” from the title of Martin’s series. 

    The symbolism goes like this, from Will perspective, ”Fire” in the left eye and ”Ice” in the right.

    The ”Fire” in the left eye is, of course, figurative. Looking back, the blood that wells between Waymar’s fingers after he covers his eyes is…, going back a little further, described as “red as fire”. It’s a simile that engages our other senses and opens the door to the subtext. 

    The right eye compares perfectly and directly with another set of figuratively burning blue eyes. Again looking back, those eyes that “burned like ice”, are another simile.

    Two similes, nice balance and structure by our author, agree? A set of eyes/ a pair of similes/ ”Fire” and ”Ice”. The balance and structure continues to align well with the taijitsu symbol. There are two inverse parallels, “Fire” and “Ice” with aspects of the other in each. Instead of burning fire, we have burning ice. Thus and therefore I think it’s reasonable to assume that instead of frozen ice, we should have frozen fire. This would continue structural balance and the pattern of the symmetry we are seeing. Next, I believe we are seeing this theory hold up when we look at the shard. The “shard” that transfixes Waymar’s left eye must be frozen fire or obsidian. However, we should look back at the shard for further proof.

    In order for Martin to continue to achieve balance with his structure…the left eye is said to be “transfixed” while the right eye, we are discreetly and indirectly told, is “fixed”. “Transfixed”, meaning something is held in place and kept from moving. And then “Fixed”, meaning something is locked-on to something else moving, so as to be moving itself; again two parallel opposites. The left eye is blind and not moving while the right eye saw and is fixed on something moving. But Martin uses some wordplay .

    The left eye is “transfixed” by a shard of “frozen fire” while the right eye is “fixed” on “burning ice”. “Frozen fire”/“Burning ice”, again two inverse parallels (”Fire” and “Ice”) with reverse aspects of both (“Frozen” and “Burning”) in each. At this point “Frozen fire” is a bit of a leap. While the structure and balance of the figurative language here supports the idea;

    The shard came from a rain of a hundred needles produced by a brittle shivering longsword. So figuratively, the shard is a symbolic needle. So we have a figurative needle in the left eye of Ser Waymar Royce or the “fire” eye. A needle in the eye harkens back to an old childhood saying, an oath, said to ensure that the truth was being told. It goes like this, “I cross my heart, hope to die, stick a needle in my eye. And so if a person lied or broke their word or went back on their promise then they would hope die and get a needle in the eye to ensure their death. Sticking a needle in a person’s eye was a method done long ago to ensure they were dead before they were buried.

    Will thinks the hundred needles came solely from the shattering steel. the blade of a longsword. It shattered when the blades touched and the steel shattered. At this moment we are never told what is happening to the pale longsword. Did the shard come from it? Will is thinking that the steel shatters and this is confirmed later on when finds the broken hilt. 

    A Song”, the terms at the beginning of the title for Martin’s story reminds us that stories also have rhythm and flow. It’s partly what makes them easy to remember and why Bards told their stories the way they did. For example, after Will finds Waymar’s broken hilt he thinks, ‘Gared will know what to make of it but wonders if he would still be waiting with the horses. He then thinks to himself, ‘He had to hurry.’ This alliteration speeds up the flow of the reading adding to the sense of urgency that Will is feeling.


  9. 22 minutes ago, kissdbyfire said:

    Watchers? What watchers? There’s a group of Others who attack Waymar, one first, then the other 5 join in, but they’re all Others. 
    But out of curiosity, what/who do you think they are? 

    Sorry if I haven’t made it clear. The watchers are the CotF. 

    The watchers are different from the pale shapes and the white shadow. The watchers are like the far-eyes in the ironwood. Will is thinking of her when he first sees the watchers emerge silently from the shadows.

  10. 1 hour ago, Melifeather said:

    If the great rock were an obsidian glass candle and the (now cold) fire pit was used to light it, then why no mention of an uncomfortably bright light? If the glass candle Sam saw could cast an uncomfortably bright light, then wouldn't the great rock be more than 10-fold brighter? The glass candle holds a flame. It's not really described what that flame looks like. It could look like a normal candle flame, but that would require a wick of some kind. Perhaps the glass candle is lit all along the edges of the obsidian? The glass candle also makes the color red turn to flame. Surely Will would have noted the queer colors?

    I’m not saying that the the mirror is a glass candle. I’m saying that all the same elements are there. Here’s that video


    1 hour ago, Melifeather said:

    As for the shard from Waymar's sword that pierced his eye...the text says his sword shattered into a hundred brittle pieces, and scattered like a rain of needles. One shard pierced the pupil of his left eye leaving it blind and white in color. The sword shattered from the icy cold contact with the white walker's sword. According to an article in the New Scientist, cheap, non-alloyed steel typically becomes brittle at about -30 ºC. Adding expensive metals like nickel, cobalt and vanadium to steel reduces that temperature by strengthening the connections between grains. Kimura's steel lacks such additives, but only becomes brittle at -100 ºC, matching the performance of alloys. In other words, it was really, really cold. The temperature of the shard froze the black color of Waymar's pupil making it look white.

    Here I’m saying the parts of the great rock(pale sword) shattered. Obsidian (the shard) that catches the moon’s light appears pale. The shard in his eye is frozen fire from the “great rock”. Will only thinks it’s from Waymar’s sword when sees his left eye. Will (an unreliable narrator) is mistaken about the origin of the shard.

    The shard is like you phone glass. It’s  like having your phone off in a dark room. Then turning on a flashlight (the moon). At the right angle the phones surface will appear pale.

    In order for Waymar’s sword to freeze like your suggesting his hand would also (and likely more)

    1 hour ago, Melifeather said:

    GRRM has stated that the white walkers "are strange, beautiful… think, oh… the Sidhe made of ice, something like that… a different sort of life… inhuman, elegant, dangerous." Further, although Old Nan describes the Others as "dead things", Martin has stated that the Others are not dead. Since the author has confirmed that the white walkers are physical beings, Sidhe made of ice, and that they are not dead, then I think we can safely conclude that they are NOT reflections in a mirror.

    I would agree that Waymar’s (handsome) reflection is “strange, beautiful…”. His reflection is “a different sort of life… inhuman, elegant, dangerous.” The reflection is an aspect of a living thing.

    ”Sidhe made of ice” - the mirror has a thin sheet of ice. 

  11. On 3/6/2023 at 4:04 PM, sweetsunray said:

    The 6 Others are identical, because they're basically gender-crossed clones of their mom, aka corpse queen, aka a big mean ass ice spider. A bug and a feature of George's writing (cloning/self fertilisation).

    the “watchers” that are knowingly watching Waymar fight himself. They, in their delicate armor or cloaks of leaves, are half-hid, faces shadowed and waiting patiently.

    When Waymar breaks his sword, pieces of frozen fire from the mirror also shatter. The shards of frozen fire pierce his ringmail, they don’t slice. The shards are like splinters and ringmail protects against slices. The shards rain down like needles. 

    Waymar covers his eyes and goes to his knees. A shard of frozen fire has also pierced his eye. Simultaneously, the watchers move forward and Will closes his eyes. He can’t watch the cold blooded butchery that he is anticipating. 

    Note: The “pale blades” use the same terminology as the “pale sword” or the shards of frozen fire. Also, the “pale sword” was described initially as a “shard” of crystal. We know frozen fire is volcanic glass.

    Will, eyes still closed, hears voices and laughter while he was thinking about Waymar getting coldly butchered.

    (Translation of the voices he heard: Fool kicked his own ass)

    They didn’t slaughter him. Waymar has some injuries and Will is holding up the pommel, with a sapphire in it, of his broken hilt to his face but he’s still alive.

    And, I’m not sure, but I think Will only fainted. Again Will closes his eyes. He never saw the long, elegant hands that brushed his cheek; which sounds like a caring gesture. Remember he had sticky sap on his cheek from the tree. We don’t know if Waymar had long, elegant hands. However, long, elegant hands might well describe the hands of the tree climbing children of the forest. Perhaps they were placing Waymar’s sable cloak around his neck, no sure.

  12. On 3/6/2023 at 4:04 PM, sweetsunray said:

    Truly, much respect to you trying to decipher the text and proposing ideas, but :huh:

    A half moon was full risen on a cloudless night. Will was grateful for the light.

    Will is commanded, by Waymar, up the tree to look for a fire and to be quick about it. In a rush Will becomes lost amongst the needles, he has lost his bearings. He no longer knows where, exactly, Waymar and the “great rock” are. But he see something that, in his mind, he vaguely describes as pale shapes. In his head he differentiates the pale shapes from the white shadow that he sees when he turns his head. He doesn’t think that it’s another pale shape because it likely has more form. The pale shapes are actually from the captured moonlight that the sapphire gems on Waymar’s hilt are casting. Will having lost his bearings doesn’t see the origin of the pale shapes. But they glide through the wood. Will feels a need to call down a warning but the white shadow disappears as Waymar moves past the view of the mirror. The knife in his mouth falls out. It’s at this precise moment that Waymar is suddenly wary. Turning in circles he too become disoriented. This is why he calls up to Will, he knows Will is in the sentinel tree. If Will answers he’ll be able to regain his bearings. But Will, afraid, doesn’t call out. He can’t explain what he just saw. Waymar still moving, unknowingly, comes to stand in front of the “great rock”. And that’s when Will sees the Other Waymar.

    At this point, like Will’s inner monologue questions, it’s been a trick of the moonlight.

    Next, as I suggested, we see both Waymar and the Other Waymar mirror each others actions in the mirror:

    They both already have their swords drawn.



    A shadow emerged from the dark of the wood. It stood in front of Royce.

    He threw the long sable cloak back over his shoulders, to free his arms for battle, and took his sword in both hands.

    The Other slid forward on silent feet.


    These are the first actions of the encounter. Waymar’s cloak had made him invisible in the mirror. It wasn’t reflective. But when he throws it back over his shoulders we get a lengthy description of the Other Waymar and his sword. The sword had been in one hand for only a moment in order to throw his cloak over his shoulders; but that’s when we get the sword description.

    Waymar bravely and gracefully steps forward and warns his reflection to “Come no further”. 


    Ser Waymar met him bravely.

    He lifted his sword high over his head, defiant. His hands trembled from the weight of it, or perhaps from the cold.

    From this we are never told the starting position of the Other Waymar. However, we are told that the Other Waymar is looking up. And in turn we are not told where Waymar is looking. Martin leaves these things out to hide the facts.



    The Other halted. 

    its eyes…fixed on the longsword trembling on high, watched the moonlight running cold along the metal.


    But we can infer the Other Waymar’s starting position.


    The pale sword came shivering through the air.

    Ser Waymar met it with steel.

    The pale sword, like Waymar’s sword, was also trembling or shivering and they met in the air. I believe Waymar saw the Other Waymar’s sword high in the air and saw it as his challenge being excepted. So both swords were high in the air and both sets of eyes fixed on the other’s sword.


    Royce checked a second blow, and a third, then fell back a step. Another flurry of blows, and he fell back again.

    Again and again the swords met

    Ser Waymar was panting from the effort now, his breath steaming in the moonlight…

    …the Other's danced with pale blue light.

    At this point every blow is accounted for with neither combatant gaining an advantage. Because the swords will always come together in the mirror.

    And then Waymar’s sword becomes white with frost as he is panting from effort and his breath steams in the moonlight. His sword is like a car windshield in moist cold air. The moisture will gather on a smooth cold surface and freeze.

    Then Waymar is bit through the ringmail beneath the arm. Will assumes it was the pale sword. What doesn’t happen here is a death blow. Waymar is pierced by an arrow from the man that was up against the rock earlier. Waymar’s sword action stops as he checks his wound; and so does the sword action of the pale sword. 


    Then Royce's parry came a beat too late. The pale sword bit through the ringmail beneath his arm. The young lord cried out in pain. Blood welled between the rings. It steamed in the cold, and the droplets seemed red as fire where they touched the snow. Ser Waymar's fingers brushed his side. His moleskin glove came away soaked with red.

    Quick note: Waymar’s blood only “seemed” red as fire because of the Purkinje effect. Check this out here. The blood there is actually black. The point in me sharing that is that Will is an unreliable narrator. We can’t believe everything he sees; including the arrow he doesn’t see.

    And so when Will watches the next sword actions, he sees one action as a Waymar putting all his weight behind it and the Other Waymar swing as being lazy; but they are the exact same swing just different in Will’s mind because know Waymar is desperate.


    and he came up snarling, lifting the frost-covered longsword with both hands and swinging it around in a flat sidearm slash with all his weight behind it. The Other's parry was almost lazy.

    When the blades touched, the steel shattered.


    And again the swords come together again, but this time the sword breaks and the stone shatters.

    This post has given all the actions of the duel. At minimum I believe it shows that it’s possible that Waymar is looking in a mirror. Notice how we never get a further description of the Other Waymar or the pale sword after the shattering. 

  13. On 3/6/2023 at 4:19 PM, kissdbyfire said:

    and then the other Others emerge.

    They are not the “other Others”. They are the watchers. 


    Behind him, to right, to left, all around him, the watchers stood patient, faceless, silent, the shifting patterns of their delicate armor making them all but invisible in the wood. Yet they made no move to interfere.

    The shifting patterns of their delicate armor making them all but invisible in the wood sounds very much like CotF cloaks of leaves.


    The watchers moved forward together, as if some signal had been given. Swords rose and fell, all in a deathly silence. It was cold butchery. The pale blades sliced through ringmail as if it were silk. Will closed his eyes. Far beneath him, he heard their voices and laughter sharp as icicles.

    Watchers that are “far” beneath him seem more closely associated with a far-eyes than a tall, gaunt shadow with flesh pale as milk. I think it very reasonably for Will to remember the far-eyes immediately when he sees the watchers. They look alike.

  14. On 3/6/2023 at 3:27 PM, kissdbyfire said:

    I’ve seen that claim you were replying to being made so many times, but I never understood it. It makes zero sense to me since the Others are described as icy (and therefore could be reflexive) and the CotF actually wear natural materials so to speak. The two things are completely unlike each other. Oh and there’s those old quotes where Martin describes the Others as “the Sidhe made of ice” and another where he says their swords are made of ice. 

    I agree that the icy image in front of Waymar is completely different from the watchers that Will is seeing.

  15. On 10/11/2022 at 4:42 AM, Black Crow said:

    She was a "far eyes", a lookout halfway up a tree - dead

    You mentioned this person was a Greenseer. I’m interested on how you arrived at that conclusion.

    My train of thought goes like this:

    The woman half-hid in the ironwood parallels Will lost amongst the needles. Will, his face pressed hard against the trunk of the sentinel (redwood), could feel the sweet, sticky sap on his cheek. 

    The tree blood of the sentinel matches the winestain birthmark of Bloodraven.

    A Greenseer is a child of the forest and this one was a twin to the rest, the other watchers.

    ”far-eyes” is a homophone for fairies. 

  16. On 9/8/2022 at 12:53 PM, Brad Stark said:

    but what reason would they have to kill her after?

    Because the pups aren’t going to leave mommy direwolf otherwise. Also, what do you think about the mother direwolf carrying the albino pup in her mouth. The white pup was born before the rest.

    The white pup is a parallel to Jon. The mother begrudgingly carried that pup like Catelyn cared for Jon.

  17. On 2/10/2023 at 6:30 AM, Evolett said:

    Will carries a dirk between his teeth as he climbs the tree. He finds the "cold iron" comforting. Will's dirk is an iron weapon. Cold iron was thought to repel, contain or harm fairies, witches, ghosts and other supernatural entities. The white walkers are in this group of "otherworldly" beings. Interestingly, Will survives up in the tree while the far-eyes did not. Might Will have made a difference if he had come down with his "cold iron," even if this difference only meant a temporary backing off of the Others?

    Did you notice that Will drops that dirk?

  18. On 3/5/2023 at 10:29 AM, Craving Peaches said:

    and once when describing men's breath mingling with a horses' during Gared's execution. So the only other time where two people's breath is mingling it is related to marriage. So I think it is quite significant.

    In Bran I, Gared is indirectly compared with the length of the sword “Ice” and the width of “Ice” is as wide across as a man’s hand. Horses and time are also measured with hands.

    So “Ice”, a symbolic time piece is associated with the oathbreaker and a horse.

    Gared also seems to symbolize the lower casting mold for “Ice”. A casting mold is made of greasy sand in a box frame with an imprint of the sword. 

    Ragged, like the right margin of this post, can be used to describe the imprint in the sand.

    And the negative imprint in the sand is like the opposite of the sword.

    Thus, oathbreaker could be considered a negative impression of Oathkeeper.

    And recall Oathkeeper is one of the two swords that “Ice” is split into.

    So Gared, ragged and greasy, bound to a wall and a height the same length as “Ice” sounds like the drag component of an “Ice” casting mold. Gared in reverse (deraG) is also a homophone for “drag”. 

    Cope is the top half of the casting mold. And “cope” goes nicely with a horse. Horse “cope” or horscope. Horoscope is a time diagram of the heavens, showing the relative position of planets and the signs of the zodiac, for use in calculating births, foretelling events in a person's life, etc.

    Horse =  honor     = Oathkeeper  = cope



    Gared = dishonor= Oathbreaker = drag


  19. On 4/1/2023 at 8:09 AM, Black Crow said:

    Cos a great rock is exactly that. Its a big stone. That is very different from an obsidian mirror. As Melifeather pointed out, obsidian is glass not rock. You could in theory split it in such a way as to produce a clean and shiny face. Its not natural, but hey this is a work of fantasy so why not. But... Its also a story and as we ourselves can't see this wondrous mirror it's GRRM's task to let us know that its there. Instead, he just speaks of a great rock. I've been out there, seen them, climbed them.

    Obsidian is commonly used in black mirrors for scrying. And is evidence that volcanic activity has occurred nearby. Check out Vic Tandy in Wikipedia. It associates white shadows and volcanoes and shivering swords. And I believe it explains Will’s gut and Gared’s madness.


    On 4/1/2023 at 8:09 AM, Black Crow said:

    The "frozen fire" in Ser Waymar's eye? No, GRRM wrote of a fragment of frozen Ser Waymar's sword

    Will noticed the glittering jewels when Waymar initially drew his sword from its’ sheath; however, it was the first time he’d laid eyes on the sword according to this line: “It was new-made from the look of it.” Will hadn’t ever seen him use it.


    …and drew his longsword from its sheath. Jewels glittered in its hilt, and the moonlight ran down the shining steel. It was a splendid weapon, castle-forged, and new-made from the look of it. Will doubted it had ever been swung in anger.

    And according to the structure Martin seems to be using: the shard in Waymar’s left eye is not from his blade.

    “Fire and Ice”, the very antithesis of the entire series, is literally starring directly at us. The right eye is directly compared to something that is figuratively compared to “Ice”.


    …its eyes; blue, deeper and bluer than any human eyes, a blue that burned like ice. (AGOT Prologue)

    And the left eye, as mentioned earlier, is bleeding with blood that is directly compared to “fire”.


    Blood welled between the rings. It steamed in the cold, and the droplets seemed red as fire where they touched the snow. Ser Waymar's fingers brushed his side. His moleskin glove came away soaked with red. (AGOT Prologue)

    The structure of the figurative imagery in the eyes is set up with the right side as “fixed” on burning ice and the left side as “transfixed” by frozen fire.

    Burning ice and frozen fire are inverses parallels, a sort of Yin and Yang. They are two aspects of a whole. Together there is balance. “Fixed” and “transfixed” also highlight this type of relationship.

    Frozen fire is what the Valyrian’s call obsidian. It’s a translucent volcanic glass or crystal that comes alive with moonlight. It makes the pupil of the left appear white. The shard comes from what appears to be the pale sword. Something from both swords in each eye, again structural balance.

    In the world of literary analysis, in which I’m a novice, one tries to read between the lines. We try to understand the underlying or implicit meaning or subtext, of a literary piece.

    For example, did you notice that Will’s dirk fell from his mouth? First time through the reading most people don’t. It’s not explicitly in the text.

    He whispered a prayer to the nameless gods of the wood, and slipped his dirk free of its sheath. He put it between his teeth to keep both hands free for climbing. The taste of cold iron in his mouth gave him comfort………..Will opened his mouth to call down a warning, and the words seemed to freeze in his throat. (The dirk falls out and we never read about it.)

    Why? Because Martin is telling us that Will is unaware of what is happening. From his POV he doesn’t realize it himself. But it does have consequences. (That is for another discussion)

    The term shard is purposely vague. We don’t know for sure if the shard is made of steel and neither does Will. In fact, I’m suggesting it’s

    In the duel there appeared to be two swords. And we never get a description of the pale sword after the two swords last touch.

    When the blades touched, the steel shattered.

    The text doesn’t explicitly say what happened to the Other’s blade or the Other. The watchers move-in and Will closes his eyes and doesn’t open them for a long time.

    Will uses the term “shard” when describing the Other’s blade in his head.

    It was alive with moonlight, translucent, a shard of crystal so thin that it seemed almost to vanish when seen edge-on.

    So I’m suggesting, with relative certainty, that the shard is crystal from what appears to be the pale sword. Will, however, believes it to be a shard from Waymar’s sword. Will is an unreliable narrator here. So of course he does; he just found Waymar’s broken hilt. And he can’t see what the shard is made of.

    And Waymar doesn’t have a gem from his sword actually in his eye. The gem is still mounted on the pommel of the longsword’s broken hilt. Will just happens to be unknowingly holding it in his “nerveless fingers” in front of Waymar’s right eye. Like his lost dirk he just doesn’t realize it.


  20. 2 hours ago, Melifeather said:

    The way that the glass candle is described sounds like it must be "lit" in order to "scry" or use for divination. Is your interpretation of the snow covered great rock "lit" as well? GRRM has set the rules for using obsidian to scry in this story by making it necessary for the person using it to be able to light it.

    I agree, again You tube soot and mirrors. In the videos candles are used. I do think the fire pit was used.

    And again, thanks for taking the time. I’m not great at explaining my thoughts.

    Also, can you see the shard in Waymar’s left eye as a needle in the eye? The shard comes from the rain of needles.

  21. 1 hour ago, Melifeather said:

    Scrying is a method of divination using mirrors. Who in this scene is using the giant rock as a mirror (assuming the rock is a big chunk of obsidian) to see the future? Fighting yourself in a mirror isn't a form of scrying and your reflection wouldn't then step out of the mirror to finish the job. I doubt very much that Waymar's sword could have shattered the great rock behind the lean too and it couldn't have reflected anything since it was covered with snow.

    Yes I believe a seer in the mirror, the couple that Will sees earlier, is scrying. And your right, Waymar is not scrying. 

    And his reflection never steps out of the mirror to finish the job. The shards from the obsidian are the only thing that injures him. His sword doesn’t shatter the whole rock; just parts. Picture hitting a big chunk of ice with a hammer.

    The mirror is a vertical surface and the soot from the fire pit is used to help create the mirror. You tube, soot with mirror.

    The circumstances also have to have the moon in the right position on a clear night. Reminds me of Stonehenge.

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