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Mourning Star

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  1. Nicely done video, although I have some issues with the theory. First, we do have some guidelines for the state of bodies being resurrected, in particular we see that the bodies of wights keep moving until the bones are broken: So it appear the animation magic, at least for wights, is in the bones. When they are broken the body becomes lifless again. Fire also returns wights to a lifeless state. Also, I think it is worth noting that while we have seen nearly headless Cold Hands, I don't think there have been any headless undead. I would also point out that the vision Dany sees in the House of the Undying is NOT clearly Rob and the Red Wedding. The devil is in the details. Robb's crown was bronze, not iron. I've seen no references to him and scepters either, and It was Wendel Manderly (the sigil of house Manderly being a Merman) who had a literal leg of lamb in his hands, not Robb. Perhaps oddly, the word scepter appears only three times in the series. First, when a fool wields a cod as one: The foreshadowing of the Battle of the Blackwater and Davos's dip under the water aside, we see a fool using food as a scepter here as in the Undying vision, the second use of "scepter". If you believe that Jon is the heir to the Seven Kingdoms, then all 5 kings of the war are false kings and about fool's business, destined for defeat. So far Robb, Joff, Balon, and Renly are all dead, and following the defeat at the Blackwater, Stannis leads his men into the North, giving up their former lands. And it's final use: I would propose that the leg of lamb in Dany's House of the Undying vision is representative of the wildlings, Jon's time as a "wolf in sheep's clothing" (wearing a sheepskin cloak in place of his black Night's Watch one), and granting the free folk passage through the wall and into the Seven Kingdoms. Much like how the Stark King of Winter once welcomed house Manderly into the North. This is also not the only feast of the dead we've heard of in the series. Jon dreams of a feast of the dead, and given his current state at the end of Dance of Dragons, I think it's extremely likely this vision was about him. And here we see Robb appear at the feast of the dead, seemingly whole and not wolf headed. This is the same feast where Mance Rayder attended in disguise. Perhaps Orland even wielded a cod? but I digress... It was a feast full of dead kings, including Robert, Joff, Robb, Mance, and perhaps Jon. Although, by the end of Dance, perhaps Jon has earned his entry into he feast of the dead. Ghost is the conspicuously silent wolf, not Grey Wind, and the phrase "mute appeal" is used only 3 times in the series. First here, obviously about Jon: Then in the Undying vision we are discussing here. Then finally, at the Red Wedding itself, but given by Aegon Frey, not Robb Stark: The saddest sound, the little bells of Jinglebell, Aegon Frey. Grey Wind isn't so mute in the Ghost of High Heart's dream. But the saddest sound is Cat's killing of an innocent mentally handicapped fool in a final act of vengeance. Well, clearly not so final... "Under the sea, the fish eat us. I know, I know, oh, oh, oh."
  2. There are a lot of theories floating around about the various structures made from black stone, both fused and oily. I do think the distinction is important. We see the Valyrians building with fused black stone, but the oily black stone appears far older. Meanwhile Moat Cailin appears to be neither oily nor fused, but built of basalt. It seems that the Singers called down the Hammer of the Water from the "Children's Tower", which is about as powerful of magic as we have heard tell of. Now whether this was the same incident that caused the breaking of the arm of Dorne, or whether the Children used the Hammer of the Waters twice is unclear. Either way, I do not think this supports the magic making the stone oily theory you proposed. I would suggest that Moat Calin was built by giants... but there isn't a ton of evidence to support the claim. We haven't gotten many clues about how the giants fit into the picture, but they do pop up in stories at very interesting times. From Brandon the Builder, to Joramun and the horn of winter, to the Last Hero, to Ser Merwyn of the Mirror Shield saving a very Valyrian sounding Daeryssa a long time before Targaryens came to Westeros. Notably, Giants were not included in The Pact between Singers and Men. If I had to guess, giants may not have always been as primitive as they are made out to be by this point in Westeros, in fact it's even possible that we haven't seen a "true" giant at all but only part giant part men offspring, and it's even possible that the great mountain giants (for lack of a better term) are truly extinct. And if I had to guess, the story above is about Moat Cailin. But, we really don't have much to work with, I mean, can we even tell if the towers of Moat Cailin are round or square?
  3. And saw her brother Rhaegar, mounted on a stallion as black as his armor. Fire glimmered red through the narrow eye slit of his helm. "The last dragon," Ser Jorah's voice whispered faintly. "The last, the last." Dany lifted his polished black visor. The face within was her own. A Game of Thrones - Daenerys IX
  4. And one more theory that isn't grand at all... The Elder Brother, on Quiet Isle, was a knight of house Fossoway and father to Franklyn Flowers, of the Golden Company.
  5. Two more theories for the theory mill: Syrio Forrel died before the events of Game of Thrones took place. The man Arya, and the reader, knew as Syrio was in fact a Faceless Man. The same Faceless Man who appeared as Jaqen Hagar, the Alchemist, and Pate. Craster was the son of Aemon Targaryen, making Jon's baby swap of Monster (Gilly's son) and Mance's son, out of fear of Melisandre sacrificing one for their king's blood, hysterically ironic.
  6. I really think you are missing the mark entirely here. This is the "Song of Ice and Fire", they are not incompatible. In my opinion this is one of the most important quotes in the series: Clearly Melisandre is espousing the belief you claim is generally accepted... but take a second and think about what she is saying. Does it really ring true to you? Do you think this story really backs up this sort of dualistic worldview? Is the world really black and white? Are male and female really opposites one can equate to evil and good? In my opinion the answer is an obvious and resounding no. Things are more complicated than that and the "right" path is usually a balance. Even more troubling are the evils committed by those who hold such certain dogmatic perspectives. Be like Davos, have doubt.
  7. Two of my favorites, one for fire and one for ice... although I suppose it's up to you if you consider them "Grand" enough. Lemongate - Dany is not Daenerys Targaryen, the daughter of Aerys and Rhaella Targaryen. Her memories of the House with the Red Door with a lemon tree outside the window, were not from Braavos. (This could be taken further, as the obvious question then is who is she? I would hazard to guess that she is the child of Rhaegar and Lyanna) A crow is not a raven - The Three Eyed Crow from Bran's falling dream was not Bloodraven. Crows are not ravens, and the two birds do not get along. Bloodraven was the brooding weirwood in Bran's dreams which sometimes did, and sometimes did not, appear in the same dreams as the crow. (This could be taken further, as the obvious question then is who is the three eyed crow? I would predict that it was Old Nan all along)
  8. Then you need to define the words you are using. If humans aren't meaningfully different than animals in this context, then how are Other's meaningfully different than humans? Seems silly to me. Again you seem to miss the forest for the trees, and at this point I don't know if it's a joke. Literally the whole argument I'm making is that there are things of value to consider other than the practical ramifications of an action. It is a fundamentally different philosophical outlook to the utilitarian assessment of "ends" you describe. Ascribing moral value to a choice separate from it's practical results may not be how you view the world, but it is a clear defining difference in principle worth considering in the context of this story. Ned made the choice he did because he believed it was the right thing to do, the defining difference between him and Cersei. Ned isn't playing, he really does try to do the right thing despite it not being in his self interest. There is no ploy here, he is just being a good person by showing his enemies mercy. But as we know, he is betrayed, and this is a story, so we see the repercussions of his behavior spiral back into the picture for effect. Look at the reaction to Tywin's death compared to his. If Tywin Lannister was truly dead, no one was safe . . . least of all her son upon his throne. When the lion falls the lesser beasts move in: the jackals and the vultures and the feral dogs. Tywin, who ruled with a ruthless pragmatism (basically through fear) acts as Ned's foil in this sense. He is the Machiavellian, ends justify the means, better to be feared than loved, opposite to Ned's honor. But, if I'm being honest, this was all really just a long winded excuse for me to post this quote: "I want to live forever in a land where summer lasts a thousand years. I want a castle in the clouds where I can look down over the world. I want to be six-and-twenty again. When I was six-and-twenty I could fight all day and fuck all night. What men want does not matter. "Winter is almost upon us, boy. And winter is death. I would sooner my men die fighting for the Ned's little girl than alone and hungry in the snow, weeping tears that freeze upon their cheeks. No one sings songs of men who die like that. As for me, I am old. This will be my last winter. Let me bathe in Bolton blood before I die. I want to feel it spatter across my face when my axe bites deep into a Bolton skull. I want to lick it off my lips and die with the taste of it on my tongue." Because this is a story, we see Ned's honor does have a positive outcome, and the North remembers.
  9. Maesters are not the only source of information, especially about the supernatural, and have their own motives. "Who do you think killed all the dragons the last time around? Gallant dragonslayers armed with swords?" He spat. "The world the Citadel is building has no place in it for sorcery or prophecy or glass candles, much less for dragons. Ask yourself why Aemon Targaryen was allowed to waste his life upon the Wall, when by rights he should have been raised to archmaester. His blood was why. He could not be trusted. No more than I can." Howland Reed managed it: "It was the green men he meant to find. So he donned a shirt sewn with bronze scales, like mine, took up a leathern shield and a three-pronged spear, like mine, and paddled a little skin boat down the Green Fork."
  10. I think we have, Leaf's analogy of the woods. And yet the Others attacked the Fist of the First Men in front of the Wildlings... curious no? How would we know if they eat? Sounds like wild speculation, which, don't get me wrong I do all the time, it's just not convincing without some sort of support from the text. But, not Gared. Absolutely true! I'm not saying the use of force is never warranted, or that self defense isn't ok. What I'm saying is that the right thing to do is to try to end violence, and one accomplishes that by trying to understand and speak to the other side. Three guys ambushed in the woods is not the same as an organized group going to war. And maybe there isn't a peaceful solution, but you won't know unless you try. Analogies comparing nations going to war to school yard fights are frankly extremely poor in all situations. No, here I disagree wholeheartedly. Mercy is never a mistake. His mistake was trusting Littlefinger (and even more so Cat's error in trusting Littlefinger), not showing Cersei mercy. In all likelihood, by learning from the Singers or the Green Men. And they still don't get along... Language is an issue not the only issue. I don't think the Others are animals, and their use of weapons, clothing, and language are evidence of this. I assume you are kidding, but obviously no guarantee of a positive outcome is not the same as guaranteeing a negative outcome. And obviously we won't all choose the right thing over self interest every time, especially since it is so often so hard to know what is right. "You are an honest and honorable man, Lord Eddard. Ofttimes I forget that. I have met so few of them in my life." He glanced around the cell. "When I see what honesty and honor have won you, I understand why." But they didn't, the US is the only nation to ever nuke anyone. And humans are the only race in Westeros to conquer it and force other races into extinction or exile. Probably so, and more I'm sure... There was obviously a lot going on, and things look different in hindsight. But, that doesn't mean we shouldn't try to learn from our mistakes rather than repeating them. What happens to the babies? How do we know if it is nuanced or not? It seems to me that the assumption that the Others are mindless evil is just that, an assumption. Well Bran seems in a perfect position to do so, with access to the Singers (who likely speak there languages) and memories of the past. Nobody said it would be easy. Starting in the libraries is a good idea, then searching out the children like the Last hero did. (Note: I think it is no coincidence that the library in Winterfell was burned at the series beginning.) There is also the Isle of the Green Men in the God's Eye. I disagree. Nothing about the Others gives me the impression of unthinking animals. People point to their swords as indicative of violence, and sure they are tools of war, but the fact that they use tools and wear clothing means they must be fairly developed and not at all irrational animals by any stretch. This isn't so clear. The undead and Others attacked the Fist in front of the Wildlings. If they had just been chasing them then the Night's Watch would have encountered the Wildlings first. It seems far more like they were being herded than just hunted. I would even question whether Mance gathers the Wildlings to save them from the Others, or if the Other's threaten the Wildlings so Mance can gather them. ... This point by point thing is a pain and no way to have a discussion. Also, I've gotten tiered of explaining morals to the children here who just seem to want to argue. I do think you have some good points in your post, but still think you err wildly in dismissing the Others as animals unworthy of consideration. I think the far better question to ask, is why they have returned now, and what role Men play in that return. My guess is that we will find human motivations and actions as the root causes behind mankind's woes. Be well
  11. What solution? Not being there? Seems like that would have worked great. Trying to communicate? Absolutely worth a shot. Running away? Worked! As for the larger conflict, obviously it has little to nothing to do with one incident between individuals, this is just the snapshot we were given as readers. The solution to any conflict starts with opening communication and trying to understand the other side. The Other didn't come at him until he drew his sword... "It stood in front of Royce." There is no indication either Waymar or the Other could understand each other. So yes, possibly trying to communicate through gestures may have helped. But again, this is an individual encounter where the real solution was not to be there and not equitable to a large continent wide conflict of peoples. I have literally no idea what point you are trying to make. It seems likely the Others sense of time itself is different from mankind's. But again, we can only speculate, but it is easy to imagine understandable motivations from their point of view. No it does not. It doesn't even show intentions for the individual let alone the entire group. Mankind presents a very real existential threat to the "elder races", we know they would have an understandable motive to try and wipe out humanity, the us or them mentality being put forth in this very thread. My entire point is that this is the sort of thinking that sparks endless conflict and cycles of vengeance, it's not a solution for lasting peace. No, we really can't logically assume their intentions, let alone their motivations. As shown above Waymar was the one who provoked the fight, far beyond the boarder of authority issuing challenges. Why would the Other do this? More importantly it misses the core of what I was saying. Doing the right thing isn't conditional on the behavior of others. I have no idea what you mean by limits. And rangers kill wildlings... I literally just do not understand what you are trying to say here... Beyond the Wall? Outside the Seven Kingdoms? In the forests man gave to the Singers? Far beyond any semblance of authority or claim?
  12. Remember that is an old sentiment long used by people to dehumanize the "other", and I think can safely be categorized as evil. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philip_Sheridan Comanche Chief Tosawi reputedly told Sheridan in 1869, "Tosawi, good Indian," to which Sheridan supposedly replied, "The only good Indians I ever saw were dead." In Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, Dee Brown attributed the quote to Sheridan, stating that "Lieutenant Charles Nordstrom, who was present, remembered the words and passed them on, until in time they were honed into an American aphorism: The only good Indian is a dead Indian. Sheridan denied he had ever made the statement. Biographer Roy Morris Jr. states that, nevertheless, popular history credits Sheridan with saying "The only good Indian is a dead Indian." This variation "has been used by friends and enemies ever since to characterize and castigate his Indian-fighting career.
  13. You can either try to keep learning or choose willful ignorance, that's up to you. Bye
  14. As opposed to "ranging" hahaha But do they? We have no idea what their customs are and yet you leap to them being instigators... despite knowing that Waymar arrived on the seen intent to kill the very wildlings the Others had already killed, unsheathed his sword and challenged him. You leap to unwarranted assumptions
  15. Do they even have sheaths? Do we know what happened with the Wildlings... who the Night's watch themselves were trying to hunt down? You keep leaping to unwarranted conclusions. It was Waymar who showed up, drew his sword and challenged them. Trying to paint the Other as the instigator is wild.
  16. He shouldn't have been there at all. He shouldn't have been in command, but demanded it. He shouldn't be hunting people beyond the wall. He should have turned back. Hell, he could have tried to speak to them with more than a challenge. Lots of reasons. And again, I'm not an other whisperer, I do not speak for them, we barely have any idea of what motivates them, but I think it's wild to assume the only answer is obliteration of us or them. And again, and individual interaction isn't the same as a large scale conflict.
  17. Welcome to war... I'm not sure what your point is. Not only is all of mankind not in Westeros, or originally from Westeros, but at no point did I suggest the Others were acting morally. After demanding the command, he hunted down the party despite being beyond the wall and everyone from his companion to Craster telling him not to.
  18. “We should start back” is literally the first line of the entire series. It was absolutely Waymar who sought out the Others there, beyond the wall, and challenged one to fight, "Dance with me then". It is the Tywin solution, which I agree is not moral. Exactly, I'm not saying it can't be done, or even that there isn't a practical logic to it, I'm saying it was morally wrong.
  19. Counterpoint... mankind invaded Westeros, how is that not an obvious provocation? Even if you believe the language of the Singers is different from that of the Others, it's clear that Men were able to learn their language during the war in order to make a peace. It's not impossible. There is no doubt that learning a language is hard... let alone during a war. But, nobody said anything about the right thing being easy.
  20. ok... again, I don't understand how that is relevant. An individual under direct personal threat defending themselves is not comparable to large scale war. Nor is defending yourself a solution to the conflict. I honestly have no idea what you are trying to say.
  21. I agree, being moral doesn't mean being a pushover. Ned was betrayed, he didn't surrender willingly… so I have no idea what you are trying to say.
  22. The argument for the Iraq war was that WMDs posed an existential threat to the US. The argument for Vietnam was that the spread of Communism was an existential threat to the US. The argument for fighting the Others (who have not attacked the Seven Kingdoms) is that they pose an existential threat to Westeros. WW2 is more complicated than just Japan attacking the US, although this is one difference from the above, there was also the entire European Theatre to consider. This is untrue. Both the duel with Waymar and interactions with Craster point to more complex motivations. It is absolutly worth finding out what they want! Which is part of understanding them. I have not exonerated anything or anyone. Trying to communicate and striving for peace doesn't mean exoneration, it is just an attempt to do the right thing. Also, trying to communicate and striving for peace isn't even the same as turning the other cheek (a biblical expression I find to be poor and wouldn't use, personally).
  23. So many options... off the top of my head: First, there is the tiny sample size all involving men intent on violence. Second, there is an easy parallel to draw to dragons, in being more of a force of nature than evil aggressor. Third, its extremely easy to imagine how men would be the aggressors from their point of view. Waymar challenged the Other, the Other apparently fought one on one until Waymar was defeated... even by westerosi standards that is honorable. They even allowed his companion to escape. It also still seems like you can't get past the vengeance thing. Someone has to be the bigger person to break a cycle of vengeance. Being wronged is not enough of a reason to do wrong. No, it most certainly does not. That's kind of the whole point. Wrong again. There is no guarantee that a good deed will be reciprocated. That doesn't make it any less the right thing to do. See Ned and Cersei. Wrong again. What you see is the difference between vengeance and justice. There is a difference between enforcing the law and a personal vendetta. I would add that it is a very short sited analysis if you forget the role the brotherhood without banners plays in the story. First, you learn their language, then you try to understand them as more than just evil aggressors. This applies to any meeting of cultures, and while supernatural and fantastical, is a direct parallel to a society and the "other". Whether that other is human or ice creature seems immaterial to the morality of it. The arguments you are making could all be made about the Wildlings for instance. Taking it even further it is the sort of argument made by colonists about natives, and I would say is pretty categorically recognized as immoral. And again, doing the right thing in no way guarantees a positive outcome for you personally, nor does it mean others will certainly do the right thing. By the same token, the ends do not justify the means. What we are seeing highlighted again is the core difference between tying to be moral or trying to be practical, trying to be Ned or trying to be Tywin.
  24. What you are kind of saying is usually referred to as "just war" doctrine, and I think it has some problems. In this case, I think it's worth noting how this sort of logic was used to justify the Iraq War and how GRRM is pretty clearly opposed to it. Unfortunately, I have to run, but it's been a good chat and perhaps we can pick it up again another time. Be well
  25. And the child of the man you strike down? Do you kill them too? Even though they have done nothing wrong, but will grow up one day and might take vengeance on you themselves?
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