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Sandy Clegg

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  1. Darry is an early mention from Dany's memories and yes - he is tied to Lemongate (among other things). So I feel that he is a minor yet very important figure that George isn't done with yet. Thanks for the second opinion, too. I do wonder, myself, whether these connections are just instances of 'pattern-seeking' as opposed to 'pattern-finding'. For me, it's the subtle language links that provide the strongest echoes. I guess my aim has recently been to figure out what George means when he says: "I plant the seed but I try to do a little literary ‘sleight of hand’. And while I'm planting the seed, my other hand is up there waving - and is distracting you with some flashy bit of wordplay, or something that's going on in the foreground, while the seed is being planted in the background. So, hopefully the seed is there. The foreshadowing is there. But maybe you won't notice it … because it's surrounded by so many other things." - 2006 podcast He plants and he hides. Yes, the use of Old Bear Mormont compared with Darry the 'gentle old bear' may indeed be mirrors of each other, from a certain point of view. Naming them both 'bear' is quite on-the-nose, in fact. But how far does that get us? And does it preclude alternative mirroring? Is it perhaps designed to do so? Leathers and Darry .... It's a subtle connection I agree, but again, it all comes down to the GRRM quote above. I wonder if, in this scenario, there can ever be such a thing as 'too subtle?' Rather, I am inclined to dismiss clues in the text that are too obvious. Flashy wordplay versus hidden seeds. The Hound, for instance, saying he'll take Arya to Robb's "bloody wedding" feels too close to the former, to my taste, whereas the Leathers/Darry connection might well be evidence of the latter. Of course, there will never be any way to be sure until we read the next books. But I kind of feel in my gut that this is the kind of stuff GRRM was talking about. And we should never be afraid to explore the ultra-subtle when we have the author telling us to be on the lookout for just that very thing, no?
  2. Still it's nice to have a neat little repository, forum-wise, of all things purple. So I give this thread my royal stamp of approval I think we have to think in a Targaryen-direction as much as royalty, though. Possibly even as specific as Danaerys herself, not forgetting Jon and Young Griff. For now it's enough to collect the dots, I'm sure if we throw enough at the wall then some patterns will start to emerge.
  3. If you're going to look at purple, I think it might be useful to note that there are many things which denote 'purple-ness' due to their connection with that colour, which may be found adjacent to sigils, or in House Names. Do an image search on heather, for example, and you will see that purple is its dominant colour. We have no heathers in ASOIAF, strangely, but we do have a House Hetherspoon. So I would add this to the list for the sake of analysis. Other 'things which are, or can often be seen as, purple' include: blackberries lavender lilac amethysts grapes beetroot/beets plums figs the purple martin (a bird) EDIT: and of course there is Tyrian Purple (royal purple) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tyrian_purple There was even a postage stamp (of 2 pennies) named the Tyrian Plum! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_VII_2d_Tyrian_plum
  4. If you read my post on Septa Lemore's role as a proxy character, here's a spiritual successor to that idea. I want to examine similarities GRRM may have drawn between Ser Willem Darry and Leathers, the wildling who becomes master-at-arms at the Wall, as I believe the latter is a kind of narrative echo of the former. I'll assume everyone is familiar with Ser Willem Darry. Since Leathers is not often discussed, however, here's a brief run-down of his role in the books: Leathers is part of Mance Rayder's host, but they are defeated in the battle beneath the Wall. He is one of the sixty-three free folk that Jon Snow takes to Castle Black from Mole's Town. He and Jax are the first of them to join the Night's Watch. Scouting ahead, Tom Barleycorn finds nine wildlings in the weirwood grove, including the giant Wun Weg Wun Dar Wun. Leathers helps Jon calm them by talking to the giant in the Old Tongue. Leathers is assigned to the rangers. Jon appoints Leathers as master-at-arms at Castle Black, over the objection of the Lord Steward, Bowen Marsh. Leathers serves as a translator for Jon and Wun Wun, teaching the Old Tongue to Jon and the Common Tongue to the giant. https://awoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/Leathers So what do these two characters have to do with each other? One long dead in Essos, known to us via flashbacks (mainly through Dany's POV), the other a capable fighter and speaker of the Old Tongue at the Wall. Well, first let's think about why George would even engage in such 'character echoing'. Well, in the Septa Lemore post, I suggested that George had encoded some Lady Stoneheart symbolism into Lemore's character - as a kind of 'cryptic easter egg', for want of a better phrase. He smuggles her into the book - maybe because it's something he enjoys doing for its own sake, laying down subtle connections that in future books may grow more obvious. He also has to lay his gardening seeds, as he wants the books to be cohesive when they are one day completed. And, I think, he wants to give us a chance at playing the foreshadowing game, even if it is very subtle in nature. In retrospect, after ADOS is published, these echoes may become more obvious. For now we can only speculate. Oh, and the other thing I've noticed is that ... the clues are kind of fun. But first, George wouldn't do this unless it were significant. We're not talking about passing references to the muppets or his favourite American football players. So why is Darry a prime contender for this privileged echoing treatment? Well, he plays a small but important role in Dany's backstory - the only named character from her memories that she gives much thought to, apart from Viserys. And we know so little about him. George has, however, intimated that we will learn more about Dany's past - and presumably Darry's role in it. But while he's not yet ready to 'reveal all', I think there is a part of George that likes to tease, or sport, with readers and provide half-buried clues to some of these 'deeper mysteries'. Maybe he has a warped sense of fair play. So he at least lays the foundations for solving these mysteries by echoing key figures. Leathers is one such echo, I believe. Let's see Dany's recollection of Darry, from the first book: She remembered Ser Willem dimly, a great grey bear of a man, half-blind, roaring and bellowing orders from his sickbed. The servants had lived in terror of him, but he had always been kind to Dany. He called her "Little Princess" and sometimes "My Lady," and his hands were soft as old leather. He never left his bed, though, and the smell of sickness clung to him day and night, a hot, moist, sickly sweet odor. - AGOT, Daenerys I That's really the main source of what we know of Darry, and it is this passage which George has drawn inspiration from, in the Leathers echo. A nice, neat packaged summary for us to examine. And it's taken from an early Dany chapter from 1996 - by now a legendary snippet of memory which has been endlessly debated over (e.g. any Lemongate post). Essentially, this image of Darry is one of the central pillars of Dany's 'backstory mystery'. George is mining his own mythology here. Now let's see this passage from ADWD: "Leathers is savage," Jon agreed mildly. "I can attest to that. I've tried him in the practice yard. He's as dangerous with a stone axe as most knights are with castle-forged steel. I grant you, he is not as patient as I'd like, and some of the boys are terrified of him … but that's not all for the bad. One day they'll find themselves in a real fight, and a certain familiarity with terror will serve them well.” - ADWD, Jon VIII Now, this seemingly innocuous passage does have some language that links to the Darry memory. From a certain point of view. 'Leathers' of course calls to mind those famous 'leathery' hands of Darry. Old leathery hands, no less. And Leathers is a man with grandchildren, so he fits the 'old' bill. Both are masters-at-arms, of course. A few odd language clues next. I'll post them side-by-side for comparison. a certain familiarity with terror will serve them well ... The servants had lived in terror of him he is not as patient as I'd like .... ... He never left his bed, though, and the smell of sickness clung to him day and night Is George playing on the double meaning of 'patient' here? Darry in his sickbed could well be described as a metaphorical 'patient'. Hardly overwhelming evidence, I agree, but the wordplay is brilliant if intentional. The we have the 'Little Princess' moniker, which brings us to the giant Wun Weg Wun Dar Wun and a curious coincidence. "Wun Weg Wun Dar Wun." The giant's voice rumbled like a boulder crashing down a mountainside. He sank to his knees before them. Even kneeling, he loomed over them. "Kneel queen. Little queen." Words that Leathers had taught him, no doubt. - ADWD, Jon IX It is Leathers who teaches the giant to say "Little Queen". And Willem Darry used to call Dany "Little Princess". Further echoing, which also brings in the motif of giants. Leathers is a wildling human, but his use of the Old Tongue and relationship with Wun Wun now builds a kind of symbolic bridge between Darry and the giants. This is how they are described in ASOS: These were something else, more bearlike than human, and as wooly as the mammoths they rode ... The stink that came off them was choking, but perhaps that was the mammoths ... " Watch out he don't step on you, though. Giants have bad eyes, and might be he wouldn't see some little crow all the way down there by his feet." And just to remind ourselves of the tiny amount of info we get on Darry: a great grey bear of a man the smell of sickness clung to him day and night half-blind As for the grey, Mag the Mighty for one is described as having a pelt "grey and streaked with white". So through Leathers, has the symbolic echoing now been transferred to Wun Wun? Or are they both somehow part of the same puzzle? And how does that feed back to our perception of Willem Darry? There has been speculation in some quarters that Dany's memories of Darry may in fact be a conflation ... memories of more than one person, which she has merged into one. Pure speculation, obviously. But echoing clues such as we see in Leathers/Wun Wun do raise the question of whether George is nudging us gently towards pondering this childhood figure more deeply.
  5. Here you go: https://awoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/List_of_characters
  6. Hyle Hunt is certainly meant to be associated with Cernunnos (and associated deities) somehow. Cernunnos or Carnonos is a god depicted with antlers, seated cross-legged, and is associated with stags, horned serpents, dogs and bulls. He is usually shown holding or wearing a torc and sometimes holding a bag of coins. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cernunnos When Brienne comes across Hyle in AFFC, he also has his legs crossed: Is it noteworthy that this cross-legged Curnunnos figure is atop a crumbling Wall? Does the Wall have any connection with the out-of-kilter seasons? Perhaps ... if the return of the Horned, Green Man, Nature figure means a return to natural cycles. Possibly something for more mystically-attuned minds than my own to ponder. I'll stick to word games Indeed!
  7. You've sent me down a rabbit hole Yeah, the Horned Lord is also known as Cernunnos who is a kind of psychopomp figure of the underworld as well as being connected with the seasons. Another name connected with him is Bran: Cernunnos ... "has also been portrayed as a god of travel, commerce and bi-directionality; or associated with crossroads, the underworld and reincarnation, symbolizing the cycle of life and death." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cernunnos Bi-directionality and crossroads seem to be themes at the very heart of Bran's story, with him potentially having the power to revisit the past and affect the present. I read this when it came out, in my uni days! Cracking novella and should have won the Booker Prize in my opinion. Amis was not a sci-fi writer but used this conceit of the 'entity that watches from within' very well. It's an eerie idea that he gets a lot of comic mileage out of (think the 'Backwards' episode of Red Dwarf). Mild spoilers if you wanna read the book I guess, but .... As the book continues, however, the 'host' body gets younger and younger until we find ourselves in Germany during WWII. That's when things turn rather sinister. Amis's other book on the Holocaust, The Zone of Interest, has just been made into a film actually. I feel that Time's Arrow would be unfilmable tbh, but anyway - the concept of a 'mind passenger' is very much within GRRM's wheelhouse, with wargs and skin-changers inhabiting his ASOIAF universe. And 1991 is, of course, around the time when he first got the idea for ASOIAF. The arrows that Alleras shoots may have more to do with Time/Skinchanging themes than we first thought?
  8. Are we in danger of ignoring the fantasy element here? Sansa famously is one of the only Stark children POVs not to exhibit warging/skinchanging powers. Possibly her direwolf being killed (before any latent powers of Sansa could manifest) was a factor, we don't know. But as she is a Stark kid, it has to be on the table for discussion. There may be a lot more going on in her mental state than our 'real-world' understanding of psychology can bear out. Perhaps her lack of direwolf has caused any mental abilities she possesses to rebound internally? She may actually not be in full control of all her actions, or memories, in some way.
  9. FYI, GRRM has this to say on eye colour, and unreliable narrators. “I do use the device of unreliable narrator, especially when dealing with memory. I present these scenes, sometimes from multiple different viewpoints. And these versions don’t quite ‘jive’ and so … then you have to figure out what really happened. The only problem with that is I, not being perfect, do make real mistakes.I would prefer not to make real mistakes, but my readers are very good. They point them out. I’m terrible with eye colours, some characters eye colours change. And when you make mistakes like that, then … when you come across the unreliable narrator, the reader thinks “Oh he fucked up again”, but actually I didn’t fuck up. Some of those are quite deliberate, so I wish I could eliminate the real mistakes … so that the fake mistakes could be seen for what they are, which is a sign of my literary genius. - From a 2014 Edinburgh Interview https://www.edbookfest.co.uk/media-gallery/item/george-rr-martin-2014-event This is not to say that he hasn't played around with perceptions of eye colour, but rather that instances when he does so deliberately may be hard to distinguish from the slip-ups. Indeed, the fact that he mentions 'eye colours' in the same breath as 'unreliable narrators' may imply that GRRM, in some way, associates the two ideas. So I wouldn't read this as either supporting or refuting @Frey family reunion's theory, but it does underline the fact that GRRM takes great pains with these things and there may very well be a number of devils amid the details.
  10. Pretty Sure @Frey family reunion won't be too bothered by all the comments - he's been here awhile and has seen much worse I'm sure Interested to see how this develops, and liking the multi-stage essay format as it has provoked discussion. Sansa's 'unreliable narrator'-ness is something we should definitely probe more on this forum.
  11. On the topic of un-Cat ... GRRM has said that Lady Stoneheart's story is not done by a long shot (I think a comment on her absence from the show). Bearing that in mind, will we ever get a POV from whatever spirit resides in her? One reason I ask is because I think thus far GRRM has used the POV formula in very straightforward ways. But with wights, resurrections, skin-changing etc. possibly moving to the forefront in the next books, will he start to experiment with the structure, to show us some real horror?
  12. Some thoughts on House Hunter In today's crossword the word 'hunter' came up as a synonym for the word 'watch' so I took a look at the dictionary and found this: huntˈer noun A person or animal that hunts (fem. huntˈress) A horse used in hunting, esp. fox hunting A watch whose face is protected with a metal case This immediately took me back to a half-theory I had been wondering about a while ago, regarding the sigil of House Hunter. It looks like 'five silver arrows, fanned, on brown' as you can see here: https://awoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/House_Hunter I had always wondered whether this sigil was coincidentally representing a clock-face, or had GRRM wanted to make a direct link? This unexpected meaning of the word 'hunter' basically confirms to me that this is no accident. The Old Lord Hunter was even named Eon - a name that has 'time' connotations in itself. From Alayne's chapter in AFFC: Young Lord Hunter's ermine cloak confused her till she spied the brooch that pinned it, five silver arrows fanned. Alayne would have put his age closer to fifty than to forty. His father had ruled at Longbow Hall for nigh on sixty years, only to die so abruptly that some whispered the new lord had hastened his inheritance. Hunter's cheeks and nose were red as apples, which bespoke a certain fondness for the grape. She made certain to fill his cup as often as he emptied it. I don't quite know how to connect all the dots, but the fanned arrows do look remarkably like a clock-face, or perhaps a compass. The way they fan, going back and forth, suggests a dynamic process. And the apples mentioned in connection with young lord hunter remind me of Alleras and her arrows/apples. Is GRRM planting some symbolic gardening seeds which may point to clues regarding time ... going back and forth?
  13. It's more of a monologue than a discussion so far, but I appreciate the nod.
  14. I agree it's low odds, but more like 1,000-1 than million to one. Which means we still might turn up something before Winds is released! Joking aside, @Gilbert Green does make valid points and I respect his voice in all the threads I've come across him in. The wait for TWOW has forced some of us to turn to more arcane methods of analysis I guess. But I still find more merit in the ultra-speculative breeding grounds on this forum than all the 'who was most evil' or 'let's bash GRRM's world-building threads' that plague the front page. The process of thinking through this stuff is rewarding in itself, and the occasional gems more than make up for the wild goose chases. Just my two denarius - sorry denarii.
  15. Well we know now that at least Hodor's name was very well thought-out from the beginning and not drawn from Lassie. I won't go into details as this is a book-only forum. But there's precedent.
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