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Mourning Star

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  1. I think the answers to your questions lie within this important detail in Prologue of Dance. The magic gift is bound to the body. And Bran is not just a skinshifter, but potentially a greenseer: And this distinction is important. While Bran was born a skinchanger, he is still learning to be a greenseer Until he unlocks this power it seems plausible that the potential would be lost if Bloodraven body snatched him. There is, of course, darker possible explanations to why the other humans are left alive. Body Snatching isn't the only abomination... But to be fair, Bloodraven isn't the only almost dead creature in a weirwood throne either: Finally, I don't think the three eyed crow will be a new character at all, but rather one who was there right from the start. "Crows are all liars," Old Nan agreed, from the chair where she sat doing her needlework. "I know a story about a crow."
  2. I don't know what a kobo is but asearchoficeandfire.com works great for this...
  3. A part of me understands that the captains daughter plays her role in the story and then leaves the scene, even the fact that Theon seemingly doesn't bother to learn her name is kind of meaningful in its own way, and there is no reason for her to be returned to the stage. But then I want to theorize! First, there is the possibility that Theon has a child out there he is unaware of. I don't think this is much of a stretch, as you point out he even mentions the possibility himself. Then I start to get to the fun stuff, unwrap my tinfoil, and start asking the real questions! Was the girl really the captain's daughter at all? I know I know, everyone has a secret identity, but bare with me a moment. The captain never calls her his daughter, all we get are Theon's assumptions and her words. She is oddly old for being a virgin and the captain is seemingly offended by Theon's behavior, but we never see him actually call her his daughter. Is it possible that she was another honored guest and not his daughter at all? Then there is this: And the girl is constantly begging Theon to take her ashore with him. And if we interpret the Ghost of Highheart's vision as representing a faceless man: Is it possible that the faceless man who killed Balon got to the Iron Islands on the Myraham, disguised as the captains daughter? One final point... the Myraham is a ship out of Oldtown, and may well have returned there after reporting Balon's death to Rob. Oldtown is where the Alchemist, presumably a faceless man, is seen. Clearly it is because Ned is secretly a Disney princess!
  4. The first obvious answer that comes to mind is Thor, god of thunder, who’s nemesis is Jormungandr the world serpent who lives at the bottom of the sea. They are destined to destroy one another at Ragnarok. There is also the odd detail of: It was the Grey King who brought fire to the earth by taunting the Storm God until he lashed down with a thunderbolt, setting a tree ablaze. Which is oddly reminiscent of Prometheus stealing fire from Zeus to give to Men. Zeus and Thor can be seen at times as equatable storm gods. For instance, Thursday, Thor’s day, is Jove’s day in Latin (Jove is the Roman equivalent of Zeus).
  5. The two nameless characters I immediately think of are the Captain of the Myraham’s daughter and Ned’s mother.
  6. I love all the references, but still favor the simpler explanation for Luwin (Lupus/wolf, -win/friend). However, I love to learn and there is no reason there can’t be multiple meanings. I assume Luwin is frowning because the scientific observations are not making sense with the magic world he lives in. Measuring time, in particular seasons, was done by watching the sky and measuring shadows… however in ASoIaF the seasons don’t make any scientific sense, with seasons lasting for years. Luwin being the rational voice of science, while at the same time clearly having his own doubts, is part of what makes him such a great character for me. The man says he doesn’t believe in magic, but when he’s dying he crawls to the Weirwood. I agree that Bran is associated with Fenrir and Ragnarok/the long night… but what that means isn’t so clear to me, or even if it is a bad thing. The children of Fenrir, Skoll (one who mocks) and Hati (one who hates) are said to swallow the sun and moon at Ragnarok. I’m not sure the “mock sun” is a correct interpretation here.
  7. I love the references, but... The seven wanderers are classically the Moon, Mercury, Venus, the Sun, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. I do agree that in ASoIaF it seems these same celestial objects are assigned to the seven gods, as we see the red wanderer is sacred to the smith. However, I don't see how this leaves room for a dark moon to equate with the stranger. I'm inclined to think the name Luwin is a combination of Lupus (wolf) and the suffix -win (friend/protector), to mean something like the wolf friend or friend of wolves. Again, I'm not saying it's impossible Luwin was making shadow maps of the sky, it just seems more likly to me he was literally measuring shadows as part of his scientific pursuit. I'll need to drag up my old books to see the maps/black sphere you describe...
  8. Not to hate on the dark moon theorists out there but I don't think Luwin was measuring shadows in the sky, I mean, it's not impossible, but in reality measuring shadows (and their variations), of objects with a known height, was a way to tell time with a measure of accuracy (both time of day and date), like with a sun dial, and an important tool in ancient world science, from astronomy to geography to seafaring. In fact, measuring shadows was how the first recorded calculation of the earth's circumference was done by Eratosthenes around 240 BC. Could a woman teach Bran magic?
  9. A few thoughts come to mind immediately It isn't clear to me that there are "gods" in ASoIaF. Obviously, how one defines "gods" will have a large impact on one's opinion here. The Old Gods seem to be an amalgamation of the spirits of the dead, housed in the weirwoods. The nameless faceless gods of the greenwood don't seem to be a single consciousness with a plan. While there is clearly magic that works in ASoIaF, attributing it to a god is harder. I'm not sure I see any evidence that r'hloo is real at all. Blood magic, sure. Fire magic, sure. But, actual evidence of a god behind it? Not so sure. As for seeing the future, or changing the past for that matter, the nature of Martin's visions inherently provides an out. I don't think we have been given any clear hard visions of the future. By using symbolism there is an inherent element of interpretation which, in itself, is a form of free will.
  10. Obviously, I agree, and tried my best to make a simple straightforward case, but yes that's another reason to believe the crow knows it's a crow. I'm not interested in continuing the back and forth, as it doesn't seem productive. I just think that the oddly widespread view that Bloodraven is the three eyed crow holds back a lot of interesting discussion and analysis of the series, and I wish the community would move past that question. Then again I hold many views which other readers might find heretical, and haven't given up on questions like "who sent the catspaw to kill Bran?" So, to each their own! Anyway, cheers!
  11. I'm not so sure... I think there might be something fundamentally worthy in keeping your word, honesty. Whether it outweighs whatever the consequences are is obviously situational, but breaking ones word is inherently wrong even if doing so might be right for other reasons. Cheers!
  12. In HP Lovecraft's story, Hypnos, (@Odin's Beard, sorry if you mentioned this one already, I didn't see it!) a sculptor meets "the only friend of one who had never possessed a friend before", a stranger with wide luminous eyes. The stranger comes home with him, and they explore worlds beyond human comprehension in their sleep, and cease to age. Eventually, the mysterious friend passes through some barrier on one of their journeys which the narrator cannot follow. Upon waking the man is filled with terror, says that they must sleep as little as possible, and looks at the sky with fear. In particular the constellation of the Corona Borealis. He begins to age rapidly, and the two sleep barely an hour a night. Finally, after the money and drugs they had been using run out, one night the man seems to be unawakenable, and the narrator sees a terrible vision seemingly streaming down from the sky in unnatural light on his friend. The man has a fit, and when the neighbors and police come find him, they tell him he had no friend at all, but there on the couch where he lay is a magnificent statue labeled Hypnos in greek, supposedly portraying a young narrator. A lot to unpack here, and I highly recommend the relatively short read (linked above), as no summary ever does this kind of thing justice. Hypnos is the greek personification of sleep, the brother of Thanatos (death), and child of Nyx (Night) and Erebus (darkness). He lives in a cave in the underworld by the river Lethe (forgetfulness) and surrounded by poppies and other soporific plants. Boreas (the north wind) was one of the Anemoi (winds), and the child of Eos (dawn) and Astraeus (the starry one, god of dusk), as are the other three cardinal winds, and the five wandering stars (planets): Phainon (Saturn), Phaethon (Jupiter), Pyroeis (Mars), Eosphoros/Hesperos (Venus), and Stilbon (Mercury). Boreas is usually depicted as a winged old man, although some descriptions ascribe him snakes for feet. Corona Borealis is a constellation whose name translates roughly to northern crown. It is associated with the myth of the minotaur's labyrinth. In particular it is the crown given by Dionysus to Ariadne after she is abandoned by Theseus whom she had betrayed her father and country to help by providing a sword and ball of string he uses to slay the minotaur and escape (or in an alternate version the crown is given to her before she helps Theseus and he uses the light of the crown to find his way out of the maze). The Latin author Hyginus linked it to a crown or wreath worn by Bacchus (Dionysus) to disguise his appearance when first approaching Mount Olympus and revealing himself to the gods, having been previously hidden as yet another child of Jupiter's trysts with a mortal, in this case Semele. Older still, in Mesopotamian myth the constellation was associated with Nanaya, a Mesopotamian love goddess whose association with Inanna (a Venus goddess) has been debated. I find it of particular note that the crown/cradle is one of the constellations specifically called out in ASoIaF: And, just to end on a fun fact, because I'm not exactly sure where I'm going with all this... The word "clue", comes from "clew" meaning a ball or thread of yarn, and is a reference to a tool used to solve a puzzle, like Theseus using Ariadne's string to escape the Labyrinth, aka following the clew.
  13. I don't think that is really the point though... It's not that oaths and vows have nothing to do with honor and morality, it's just that they aren't all the same thing. Jaime killing Aerys is the definition of dishonorable, like literally it would be the textbook example. Whether it is amoral is a different question, and that is important! Jaime did what he thought was right, not his duty, and certainly not what was honorable. Much like how Ned kept Jon a secret: Aemon makes the mistake of conflating duty with what is right here, and this tells us a lot about his character, but the distinction is important. The danger here is trying to see the world in absolutes. Life is complicated and people have to decide what they believe is right when faced with hard choices. exploring these choices is what makes for such a good story. Ned would rather die than betray his honor, but will give up his honor for the sake of his loved ones. Jaime trying to argue that all vows are meaningless because he swears so many is neither honorable nor moral. Pretending none of it matters because the choices are hard is also a mistake. While it's a mistake to see the world as white and black, it's also a mistake to think morality is completely relative. Just because everyone makes mistakes, life is complicated, and there are hard choices doesn't mean one can just throw up their hands and pretend none of it matters. The oaths matter, the duties matter, the lives of innocents matter, love matters, and so does trying to do what is right, even when the choices are difficult.
  14. I'd rather you didn't respond to my posts at all in the future, but if you do, please at least try to be honest when you are quoting me. Go back and look, this quote was used to show that the crow is acknowledging it has wings. And, for the record, "acknowledge" was literally your word I was quoting there. Obviously, the answer is that otherwise the dialogue doesn't make any sense. I'm really not using any interpretation here at all: Saying, "There are different kinds of wings", after demonstrating flying so Bran could see, means it knows Bran is seeing its wings, and, after all, there have to be wings in the first place for there to be a different kind to refer to. This passage simply does not make sense if the crow thought Bran was asking if it was a brother of the Night's Watch. The crow knew it appeared as a crow in Bran's dream. Fact.
  15. I most certainly do! Although, I'm inclined to like the idea that Bran saw behind the veil there for a moment at the end of the dream and that the serving woman with long black hair is how Old Nan sees herself. Now, is the serving woman the same one he sees later in the vision of the heart tree? Then there came a brown-haired girl slender as a spear who stood on the tips of her toes to kiss the lips of a young knight as tall as Hodor. It seems possible, but I just don't know.
  16. It would seem that Melisandre is actually an old woman pretending to be young and beautiful with magic. And there is the waif who appears to be a child but is actually an old woman. What if the opposite was also possible? A woman who is actually kept young by magic but appears to be old? I love this! As a bit of a tangential connection, Martin clearly alludes to a number of Aesops Fables, and so far "rushlight" has only been used once in the entire series: The Farthing Rushlight: A Rushlight in love with its own brilliancy, once boasted that its light was brighter even than that of the sun, the moon, and the stars. Just then a door opened, and a puff of wind blew it out. On lighting it, its owner said: "Cease now your boasting. Be content to shine in silence. Heavenly lights do not blow out. Know that not even the stars need to be relit." A false light can only lead us further into darkness... Anyway, fun stuff!
  17. I have to be honest, I really didn't like the wheel of time... so while I get the references I don't find much value in them (or at least I won't be much help discussing). The Simarillon, and Tolkien in general, on the other hand I think we pretty clearly can see influenced ASoIaF, and I'm certainly a fan. And since @LynnS mentioned the Brooding Weirwood looking into the pool in the Winterfell Godswood (which can be paralleled to the Norse Well of Mimir perhaps?), I always loved the song of durin, which starts: The world was young, the mountains green No stain yet on the Moon was seen No words were laid on stream or stone When Durin woke and walked alone He named the nameless hills and dells He drank from yet untasted wells He stooped and looked in Mirrormere And saw a crown of stars appear Stain on the moon - moon cracking like an egg? nameless hills and dells, streams and stones - nameless gods of the wood? And mirrormere - the black pool? And the crown of stars? We look up at the same stars, and see such different things. The King's Crown was the Cradle, to hear her tell it I have long suspected that Bloodraven believes he should have been king, and perhaps he still does. I think that is what he broods over, the perceived wrongs done to him.
  18. The crow does acknowledge it: "You have wings," Bran pointed out. Maybe you do too. Bran felt along his shoulders, groping for feathers. There are different kinds of wings, the crow said. So, to be clear... You are honestly suggesting that after Bran calls the crow a crow, says it has wings, feels for wings on his own back, and the crow responds that "there are other kinds of wings", that it doesn't know it's appearing as a crow? lol I'm here to discuss the text, if you are just going to deny the words on the page then there is no reason for us to interact further.
  19. Come on... be more honest: "You have wings," Bran pointed out. Maybe you do too. Bran felt along his shoulders, groping for feathers. There are different kinds of wings, the crow said. The Crow knows it has wings with feathers, it knows how it appears, and stating that there are "different kinds of wings" is literally differentiating between types of wings. Even if you want to argue that the crow is talking about some non-feathered wing, it still requires that the crow knows it has feathered wings itself, aka how it appears in the dream! It is completely disingenuous to suggest otherwise. “Are you really a crow?” Bran asked. I mean... you even quoted it... It is a fact that the crow knows it was a crow in the falling dream. Bran calls it a crow and the crow references different types of wings. And, it's a fact that Bloodraven didn't know what Bran meant when asked directly if he was the three eyed crow. So, Bloodraven isn't the crow from Bran's dream, fact. It really is that simple, even though there is a mountain of other corroborating evidence and symbolism which supports this conclusion.
  20. Fantastic stuff! I would add that that the apple being the fruit of the tree of knowledge in Christian mythology is well known, but apples also play an important role in classic greek and norse myth as the food of immortality, in the story of Bran the Blessed of Irish Mythology, and King Arthur (Avallon is the Isle of Apples). Now that you are pointing out the Clarence Crabb and Crab stew connections to the tree, it does make me wonder if there is a crab apple connection!
  21. Evidence, what I present is evidence, and there is a lot. That Bloodraven is not the Three Eyed Crow is right up there with R+L=J in theories that I consider fact. You disagree, awesome! That's why people are on forums like this, to discuss ideas and interpretations. But, to be taken seriously, you need evidence of your own, or at least a compelling argument. Leaning on nonsense like the crow not knowing it is a crow when it talks about it's own wings in the very first dream sequence is not believable, as it is inconsistent with the text. I present as fact what I believe to be fact, which is all anyone can do. Apologies if a lack of equivocation on my part is somehow perceived as a fault by you.
  22. Yes, I believe what I’m saying to be fact. And yet he says “once” in reference to being a member of the watch? this clearly implies he is no longer. and he isn’t dead… and he isn’t at his post… so he has broken his oath. “No man is more dangerous”, Ned told Bran in his very first chapter, the first chapter of the whole series. The monsters cannot pass so long as the Wall stands and the men of the Night's Watch stay true, that's what Old Nan used to say. This is not possible, the three eyed crow discusses the difference between having literal bird wings and metaphorical ones in Bran’s falling dream… it knows it appears as a crow. it is evidence. Part of a huge pile. Did you ever hear the children’s story, “are you my mother?” It’s not much of a leap to see a pattern, especially when the non-response was so highlighted for us by Bran’s doubts right there on the page in both cases. Because it isn’t used that way enough already in the series? Honestly, this doesn’t make sense… yes we know wildlings call nights watchmen crows. Better question, can Bloodraven even talk through dreams? I mean, he says he wasn’t able to reach his siblings, and the brooding Weirwood struggled to speak in Bran’s dreams, and Bloodraven says he “saw” Bran, and “watched” bran, but somehow forgot the whole speaking thing along with appearing as a crow? Maybe the author is trying to convey something? Lol This makes no sense to me. Bran knows he’s a tree when he dreams of being a tree. He knows he’s a wolf when he dreams he’s being a wolf. The crow knows it has wings when speaking to Bran in his dream… but you think Bloodraven is just oblivious? Literally makes no sense. Bloodraven only has one physical eye. When Bran appears to Jon as a Weirwood he has three eyes. His two normal eyes and a third in his forehead. If you mean “makes sense” or “consistent” when you say “overly literal” then sure… one plus one is two. Although, this story is full of overly literal, joke is on the reader, moments. The crow opened its beak and cawed at him, a shrill scream of fear, and the grey mists shuddered and swirled around him and ripped away like a veil, and he saw that the crow was really a woman Hopefully we get a new book one day and you can eat crow! Again, for the hundredth time, this explanation doesn’t fit the text. The crow in Brans dream knows it’s a crow. All I can do is point out what is there for anyone to see. If you made a compelling argument you might change my mind, but obviously I doubt that will happen.
  23. I suspect that there is a bit of a switcheroo going on with the Norse Mythology references… and that the characters who parallel the classic villains (Loki and his children: Fenrir the wolf, Jormangr the Wyrm, Hel the half dead, as well as Surtr and his flaming sword, etc.) will in fact parallel the heroes of ASoIaF. Meanwhile Bloodraven has a lot of Odin symbolism, Jaime as Tyr, Cersei as Freya, Cat as Frigg, etc. I love this. I’m pretty sold on the idea that the three eyed crow was Old Nan all along, and so the crow/crone symbolism is not surprising in the least. Add in a pinch of the fates, with her weaving and her stories, not to mention the toothless mouth and the extra “eye” in her needles going click click click as she speaks (the crow has a voice “as sharp as swords”), and I think it’s a classic case of the truth was in front of the reader the whole time.
  24. Nooooooope. First, there is not symbolism that the three eyed crow is Bloodraven, because he isn’t. Bloodraven was “once” a member of the Nights Watch, and he, just like Sam, when asked by Bran if he is the three eyed crow, leaps to the wrong conclusion and assumes it’s a reference to the Nights Watch. This isn’t a reason to think Sam is the three eyed crow any more than Bloodraven, in fact it’s indicating neither is the crow. Speaking of eyes… the number is relevant, and again doesn’t fit with Bloodraven: A three-eyed crow should have three eyes. He has only one, and that one red. Bran could feel the eye staring at him, shining like a pool of blood in the torchlight. Where his other eye should have been, a thin white root grew from an empty socket, down his cheek, and into his neck. Instead it would appear in line with Bloodraven appearing as the Brooding Weirwood in Bran’s Dreams (one eyed Bloodraven with an extra eye is the two eyed tree… not a three eyed crow), which sometimes shares the dream with the crow and sometimes doesn’t, showing they are distinct entities. I am willing to bet the farm that Bloodraven isn’t the three eyed crow and it’s mind blowing to me that this is even still up for debate! Bran has already literally asked Bloodraven straight up of he was the three eyed crow and Bloodraven didn’t even understand the question!!!
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