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three-eyed monkey

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About three-eyed monkey

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    ASoIaF, LotR, Dune, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, The Catcher in the Rye, Lord of the Flies, Fight Club, 1984, Watchmen, Heart of Darkness, Brave New World, A Picture of Dorian Gray, I Am Legend, The Road, Cloud Atlas, Station Eleven, The Handmaid's Tale, and ASoIaF.

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  1. three-eyed monkey

    Have posters actually read the books?

    I don't like What if... threads. I agree they should have a separate sub-forum, but I'm fine with just passing them over. What if I did like them? Then I would disagree with my point. I also hate hate threads. I have read some great posts on this forum about mythology, political science, philosophy, history, and even geography. This type of comparative analysis can add a lot to understanding the story, often without quoting ASoIaF even once because it's not needed. When it comes to comes to analysis or theories regarding the actual story, i.e. plot, theme, character, setting, mood, mystery, literary devices or story-telling technique, then citation makes the argument a lot stronger. It's the only way to do it really. All these things are put in place by the author using nothing but words. Trying to explain what the author is saying without using the words he has given us for that specific purpose is like trying to build a jigsaw puzzle without using the pieces. The books are layered so re-reading clearly helps, as does the quantity and quality of literature you consume, but that does not always translate into understanding the series. At the end of the day, an argument stands or falls on its own merits, regardless of how many times the poster read the books or how long they've been on the forum.
  2. three-eyed monkey

    How does Ned know Lyanna is at the Tower of Joy?

    Let me just say that I think the 3 KG's presence at the ToJ means it is most likely that the baby was there too. In this scenario returning Dawn to House Dayne was probably enough motive for Ned's trip to Starfall. However, as I firmly believe that Arthur survived the ToJ and took the black, I think there are other factors that compelled Ned to go there. To be honest, I don't know what to make of Ashara's situation. I think she was part of Rhaegar's inner circle. I wonder if she was at the ToJ, perhaps as a female companion for Lyanna? If Lyanna gave birth at the tower and was too unwell to travel, then perhaps Ashara took the baby to Starfall while the KG remained at the tower with Lyanna. An interesting and indeed tragic aspect to all this is the rumor that Ashara had recently lost a baby herself. If Ashara bonded with Lyanna's child and then Ned arrived at Starfall to take the child back to Winterfell, then maybe it was too much for Ashara so she took her own life. But the Daynes seem to have had respect for Ned, so I doubt Ashara took her life over something Ned did. My gut says she didn't kill herself at all, which suggests one of the assumed identity theories like Septa Lemore or Howland's wife or whoever would be true, but I don't know which one, if any.
  3. three-eyed monkey

    Qhorin Halfhand was Ser Arthur Dayne - Revisited.

    No, I'm just taking the full quote. and there's more that Qhorin says about Mance that doesn't really fit with Mance being Arthur, like him being born of wildling raiders and when he forswore his oath he was only going back to the wild. That fits with what Mance says about himself being as low born as a man can be. Add to that Qhorin saying that Mance never learned to obey. I just don't think Mance fits with being Arthur. It was Qhorin and Dayne who said the line about knees bending easily. But my main point here is that an undisciplined, never anointed, low born Arthur who never learned to obey is nothing like the character Jaime, Barristan, and Jon Connington recall. I don't buy it. His use of the same first name seems a little silly to me in such a scenario. Only really tinfoil in a Lord Dustin was clearly a faceless man, hence fleeing to Braavos sort of way. He did change a letter of his first name and was clearly smarter than Oswell. Agreed. I don't think that is necessarily so. I think Ser Arthur being snared in Howland's net and Ned offering him the block or the black is very plausible. If the other kingsguard survived too, and indeed Lord Dustin, then a different dynamic would have been in place at the end of the battle at the tower and that would have to be explained.
  4. three-eyed monkey

    Qhorin Halfhand was Ser Arthur Dayne - Revisited.

    @The Green Bard Ok, we agree about a lot here and that's good. Correct me if I'm wrong but it seems to me that we're both open to Arthur having survived the ToJ, and Qhorin being someone other than who we are told. I must say though, for someone who doesn't subscribe to 3/4 of the identity swap theories that are out there you are pedaling quite a few of them. I don't subscribe to the theory that Oswell Whent is Oswell Kettleblack. That he went into hiding in the Crownlands without even changing his first name and then entered the service of Littlefinger, with his three sons, some of whom were born when he was still a kingsguard? Sorry, but none of that make sense to me. As for Willam Dustin walking away from the ToJ and becoming Willem Darry? I should like to read that theory if only to find out what happened the real Ser Willem. I seems ridiculous to me on first impression but I guess I should be fair and read the theory first. It sounds entertaining at least. It seems to me that you are basing Qhorin being Hightower on the fact that Hightower was the White Bull, Jon is Mithras, Mithras killed a bull, and therefore Qhorin who was killed by Jon must be that bull. The Mithras myth is based on the sun rising in the constellation of Taurus during the vernal equinox in the age of Taurus. The constellation died or faded from view as the sun rose in that section of the sky and then journeyed west to it's death and ultimate resurrection again. This tale has been retold through the ages with goats and lambs or whatever replacing the bull depending on the astronomical age. It seems to me that the White Bull dying at the ToJ where Jon was born would better fit the myth. As I said, I don't deny parallels between main characters and mythical figures but that is archetypal heroes journey and is to be expected, especially in the fantasy genre. It also seems that a large part of your case for Mance being Arthur is based on what Qhorin said about Mance being the best of us, Arthur Dayne was the best swordsman, therefore Mance is Arthur. However, the full quote is that Mance was the best of us and the worst of us, paraphrasing here. He's talking about Mance's character not his skill with a sword to begin with. Clearly he can't be the best swordsman and the worst swordsman at the same time. Qhorin also told us that Mance never learned to obey and was ill-disciplined. So you are proposing a Ser Arthur Dayne that was ill-disciplined, fond of the charms of women, and who never learned to obey. Sounds more like the Smiling Knight than Arthur Dayne to me. I just think Qhorin is a much better fit for Arthur than Mance. I'm going to stick with the master numbers of the series at the ToJ, three survivors and seven dead. I don't see the other possibilities as plausible. I don't accept that arguments based on mythical parallels trump arguments based on theme. This is simply not the case for literature. Plot, Character, and Theme are essential to forming a story, while mythical parallels are not, even if they are often unavoidable. All three are intrinsically linked and develop together when done well. Theme is the point of the story, the reason the story is being told. Themes are supported by motifs. Motif's are very common literary devices that explain or underline the main theme. Motifs have to be created and inserted into the story. Nothing I'm proposing is outside standard story structure for a novel. The titles of the books and series reflect the same message, a journey away from the game of thrones and all it represents. For me, it's too well constructed to be a coincidence.
  5. three-eyed monkey

    Qhorin Halfhand was Ser Arthur Dayne - Revisited.

    I guessed as much and I am indeed from the Emerald Isle. I must also thank you for indulging me. I like testing this theory and my thoughts have solidified a lot since the beginning of the thread because of the discussion. I think a lot of mysteries are concerned with plot, but I consider Arthur Dayne and Qhorin Halfhand to be a bit different because it is primarily concerned with the main theme. I submit that GRRM could have written the story without either character. Imagine if Arthur Dayne had died fighting the Smiling Knight and Dawn was in Starfall since then, waiting until the next Sword of the Morning arose. And imagine if Jon went ranging with Stonesnake, Ebben, and Squire Dalbridge, spared Ygritte who later returned the favor when Jon was captured by Rattleshirt, opening the door for Jon's relationship with Mance and the free folk. You could easily write them both out and the story would proceed along the same lines because neither are essential to the main plot. Yet they do have a purpose, and that is to support and indeed explain the main theme in symbolic terms. The journey away from the white cloak of the game of thrones and towards the black cloak of the song of ice and fire, because as we have been told several times, by night all cloaks are black and that will be true of the Long Night. The ToJ mystery was already set-up since AGoT. Bran's recollection of his conversation with Ned came in ACoK. The question that is left to linger is what happened between Ned, Arthur and Howland? I believe this question will be answered. My point is I don't see the same question being raised about Hightower and Whent or the others. We would need several more plausible identities. I know some have proposed that Whent is Mance, and Hightower is Tormund, but I don't see it. I think the fight started seven against three and ended with three alive and seven dead. I should think spare horses were not a problem, but even if there was a shortage then where did the third northman walk to and why hasn't he been seen since? Ser Arthur stood over Jaime during his vigil at the sept, which suggests to me that he does keep the new gods, even if the Daynes once kept the old gods. Dunk was never knighted. It will be interesting to see if he is anointed by a septon, possibly the high septon, when he is appointed to the kingsguard. I think learning to fight with his left parallels Jaime closer. I understand mythology quite well but comparisons between characters and mythological figures are due to the hero with a thousand faces factor. They share an archetypal hero's journey. This is very common in storytelling. We could compare Jon with Jesus, compare Jesus with Mithras, and compare Mithras and the slaying of the bull to the journey of the sun through the constellation Taurus. I doubt very much that GRRM is retelling one particular mythological figure's story, but rather that he is retelling them all. Some people argue that the Dothraki are based on the Mongols, or the Ironborn are based on Vikings, or Dorne is based on Andalusia, but it's never that simple. GRRM has stated he takes inspiration from a wide variety of influences. Maybe Arthur's ego was not as fragile as you think. Jon also admits that Qhorin could have swatted him like a bug if he had wanted to. Mance can handle himself for sure, but I don't think we can be certain he was a better than Qhorin was. We can't really compare the battles because Qhorin's intention was to lose to Jon, and Ghost played a major part in his defeat. Mance's intention was to win and ghost was not involved.
  6. three-eyed monkey

    Qhorin Halfhand was Ser Arthur Dayne - Revisited.

    What textual clues lead to Gerold = Qhorin? Or Arthur = Mance? Mance said no septon ever smeared his head with oil, if anything that's a strong clue that Mance was never knighted. On the other hand, "Dawn arrived with Qhorin Halfhand." If that's what you mean by a textual clue then it clearly points to Arthur Dayne, in my opinion. Also, as I pointed out, the death of Arthur Dayne is signposted as a mystery by Bran, who wished Ned had said more about Arthur Dayne almost killing him but for Howland Reed. I don't see that type of technique used to guide the reader to ask what happened Oswell or Gerold, so I think they most likely died at the tower. As you are a green bard and green bards are my favorite bards then I will try to briefly summarize my argument. Some of the points around motif and theme and how they tie into the climax are explained in more detail on the pages of the thread you didn't get around to reading. It's quite technical but it's central to the argument, and that's where the mind blown factor is for me as it demonstrates GRRM's mastery of his craft. To begin with Arthur Dayne's "death" remains a mystery, and one Bran guides us to ponder. The points that suggest Arthur died are misleading, such as the eight cairns Ned built etc. Qhorin's past remains a mystery to some degree. Jon says "so far as he knew" Qhorin spent his life in the Watch. Qhorin talks of a shy maid on her wedding night, which seems odd to Jon, but Jon shrinks from probing further. Again it's the author telling you there is more to the shy maid on her wedding night. What significant wedding could we be talking about here? I suggest it was Lyanna and Rhaegar. Qhorin says in the same passage that he almost forgot how beautiful a fire could be, fire is a Targaryen symbol and Rhaegar was renowned as beautiful. Other clues include lines like Dawn arriving with Qhorin Halfhand, symbolism like the red tears and rubies which recall Rhaegar's death, a swordhand parallel with Jaime who wanted to be Arthur Dayne but turned into the Smiling Knight, and the fact that Qhorin uses the same turn of phrase as Arthur when he talks about knees not bending easily. The point of Arthur being Qhorin is this. We know the ToJ will be revisited at the climax of the story and there will be reveals. The main reveal about Lyanna's child will affect main characters and the main plot. The reveal about Arthur taking the black will support the main theme. The climax is where the point of the story is made, and the point of the story is the main theme, which is why Arthur was placed in the ToJ scene to begin with. He has no plot function of note, because his function is to make the point of the story in symbolic terms. It's the same point reflected in the titles of the books which migrate from A Game of Thrones and A Clash of Kings through conflict to The Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring. A migration away from the game of thrones and all it represents towards a song of ice and fire and all that represents. A migration from the white cloak of a kingsguard who protects the king to the black cloak of the Night's Watch who protect the realm. As I said, there is a more detailed breakdown of theme, motif, and climax a few pages back, but that's the brief version. I'm happy to delve deeper into any of it again.
  7. three-eyed monkey

    Qhorin Halfhand was Ser Arthur Dayne - Revisited.

    @kissdbyfire Mance is Rhaegar should not be a thing and it is not in the same category as Qhorin is Arthur. To begin with Mance and Rhaegar's eye and hair color don't match. Mance visited Winterfell with Lord Commander Qorgyle sometime before 288 AC, which is 5 years or less after the Trident, and was not recognized by Ned. Later he attached himself to Robert's tail and feasted in Winterfell once more with Ned and Robert and Cersei and Jaime all present. Rhaegar was known to be very good looking, no one ever says that about Mance. Rhaegar was knighted at seventeen and Mance told Jon no septon ever smeared his head with oil. And while I would put Arthur not revealing Jon's identity down to an oath of secrecy about the events at the ToJ that was imposed by Ned and honorably upheld by Arthur, it's harder to explain why Rhaegar would not reveal anything to Jon. It's also harder to explain why so many people think Rhaegar died at the Trident given there was a battle with thousands present, while there were only two witnesses to Arthur's death and we know Ned lied about what happened at the ToJ. The fact is there are many identity swaps in the series, some obvious, some revealed, and some that are yet to be revealed. Most serve the plot but Arthur has no plot function, he serves the main theme. I have explained how motifs work and how theme interacts with plot and character. A monkey can only lead you to water, he cannot make you drink.
  8. three-eyed monkey

    How does Ned know Lyanna is at the Tower of Joy?

    I meant after Lyanna's "abduction" near Harrenhal, not the tourney.
  9. three-eyed monkey

    How does Ned know Lyanna is at the Tower of Joy?

    I also think the scream in the dream puts her there, especially as the dream was essentially about her. There were fevered elements like the wraiths but I suspect the general premise of the dream is correct. Rhaegar was compared to Baelor reborn and I think that's a further link to the princess in the tower trope. I must say though, I wonder if the baby was still there when Ned arrived or was the baby being nursed in Starfall by then?
  10. three-eyed monkey

    How does Ned know Lyanna is at the Tower of Joy?

    So do you lean towards the Tower of Joy or indeed the Prince's Pass being part of Rhaegar's plan/ritual for the birth of the PtwP/third head of the dragon or is it just a place Rhaegar liked to go and just happened to be the place Jon would be born? I agree that Ethan Glover being spared by Aerys and then being part of Ned's party is very suspicious. It's a story-telling decision that does facilitate such a message. What you're suggesting here makes a lot more sense to me than the link between Ashara and Brandon. I'm still not sure how Hightower found Rhaegar but I could see Rhaegar returning to King's Landing and leaving a contingency plan with Glover before he rode to the Trident. It may even have been at Lyanna's behest. Of course, Ned did say he expected to find the kingsguard at Storm's End, but then again Glover might have been told about Lyanna's location only and not that there were kingsguard with her. Overall, I like this explanation and it makes sense of GRRM keeping Glover alive. I think I'm sold. I don't think they returned to King's Landing after Harrenhal. I think Summerhall and Starfall are the likely places they visited because it just seems too odd that they were in a tower near on a main route for all that time. From a poetic point of view Summerhall would be a good setting if Rhaegar wanted to explain to Lyanna what he was doing in a prophetic sense, and what part she would play in it. I think the conflict between love and duty will be part of their story, which is why I believe Rhaegar would have had that discussion. As I said before I'm surprised Summerhall was not the intended place of birth if indeed there was a ritualistic element to Rhaegar's prophecy driven plan. Due to the time that needs to be filled between the "abduction" at Harrenhal and the fight at the Tower of Joy, I think Starfall is very plausible as well. Dayne's home, comfort befitting a lady, relatively isolated, etc. The fact that the Prince's Pass lies between the two leads me to believe they were traveling this route in one direction or the other, but probably Starfall to Summerhall, when they met Hightower. Rhaegar then returned to King's Landing while Hightower stayed with Lyanna and the others at the nearby tower. That still leaves them at the tower for quite a long time. Rhaegar has to get back to King's Landing, muster the army, ride to the Trident, Ned then needs to race to King's Landing, then ride to Storm's End, before eventually going to the tower. If Lyanna going into labor was the reason they stopped at the tower then her child would be a couple of months old by the time Ned arrived. So maybe the Tower of Joy was the ultimate destination and they were there hidden away for the majority of the time they were missing, which seems to be the general consensus. If that is the case then I'm still curious as to why Rhaegar chose the tower to be the place of birth, as opposed to Summerhall from a ritualistic point of view or a castle like Starfall from a practical point of view.
  11. three-eyed monkey

    How does Ned know Lyanna is at the Tower of Joy?

    A tower on a ridge overlooking the pass. That means a line of sight between both parties. So if Ned and companions were going south and saw signs of occupancy at the tower, like horses or smoke, then they might go there, if only to inquire if the watchers had seen three kingsguard and a maid come this way. I'm not opposed to Ned having been informed by someone, I wouldn't be surprised if that was the case, but it remains a possibility that he was not. The reason I keep that option open is because I'm unclear about so many other questions surrounding the tower, and I'd love hear your opinion on them. They are related to the OP so I don't think I'm straying off-topic. My main question is how long was Lyanna and company at the tower? If Lyanna was there a long time then it is likely someone could inform Ned but if she was there a short time then it's less likely. We don't know if they went straight from Harrenhal to the tower or if they went elsewhere in between. Summerhall and Starfall are plausible locations they might have visited over those months. Ned tells us that Rhaegar named the place the Tower of Joy. Was that a widely known fact? If it was then we could say that even without an informer Ned might decide to search Summerhall, the Tower of Joy, Starfall, and then maybe Oldtown. Or was that something Lyanna told Ned before she died? It raises the question as to when Rhaegar named the tower. Had he named it that before he ever met Lyanna? Was it so named because that's where the Prince that was Promised was conceived or was it because that's where he would be born? Was it always Rhaegar's intention that the child would be born there or was it unscripted so to speak? If that was Rhaegar's intention then I wonder why he chose the tower over somewhere more like Summerhall? And finally there is the question of Gerold Hightower. Jaime only recalls that Rhaegar returned from the south. How did Hightower know where to find Rhaegar? Did he have the same informer as Ned or did he follow the same logic as Ned when it came to deciding where to look? Hightower may have found them at Summerhall for all we know. He may have met them at the Prince's Pass while he traveled from Summerhall to Starfall and they from Starfall to Summerhall. Or maybe he knew exactly where to go. I don't have definitive answers for these questions and I'm interested to hear what people think.
  12. three-eyed monkey

    How does Ned know Lyanna is at the Tower of Joy?

    Ned's fever dream may be unreliable to some degree, and GRRM has stated as much, but some of Ned's memories, like seven against three and pulling down the tower to build cairns, are more reliable. It's the pivotal scene in the series and one we know will be revisited. Even though our perspective may change when all the details are revealed, I doubt the basic premise will change.
  13. three-eyed monkey

    How does Ned know Lyanna is at the Tower of Joy?

    It hasn't been revealed yet but it is also possible that no one told him. Ned and his companions began at Storm's End. Ned expected to find the kingsguard there but when he did not then Summerhall and Starfall were obvious places to start looking, and the Prince's Pass is on that route.
  14. three-eyed monkey

    Qhorin Halfhand was Ser Arthur Dayne - Revisited.

    I am aware of the shy maid's use throughout the series, and as you point out there's certainly a strong textual connection to another of Rhaegar's friends, but I was asking specifically in reference to Qhorin. Who do you think was he talking about?
  15. three-eyed monkey

    Qhorin Halfhand was Ser Arthur Dayne - Revisited.

    The moon was rising behind one mountain and the sun sinking behind another as Jon struck sparks from flint and dagger, until finally a wisp of smoke appeared. Qhorin came and stood over him as the first flame rose up flickering from the shavings of bark and dead dry pine needles. "As shy as a maid on her wedding night," the big ranger said in a soft voice, "and near as fair. Sometimes a man forgets how pretty a fire can be." He was not a man you'd expect to speak of maids and wedding nights. So far as Jon knew, Qhorin had spent his whole life in the Watch. Did he ever love a maid or have a wedding? He could not ask. So you have to ask here, what's with this odd musing from Qhorin? Is this characterization? Possibly, but if so it still adds a sense that there is more to his character than we know about. So far as Jon knew, Qhorin spent his whole life in the Watch. Black brothers don't marry and Mance told us that Qhorin never shared his love for the charms of women. Jon shrinks from probing further and therefore the subject remains unresolved. Will there be a revelation about Qhorin and a wedding? Who will it come form and what will it's purpose be? Or, we can accept this is a reference to something significant, like a wedding between Rhaegar and Lyanna, hence the Targaryen fire symbolism. This way it will be resolved by the revelation that Arthur became Qhorin, which will come when we revisit the Tower of Joy.
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