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LongRider

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  1. Interesting idea, could the Stranger already be there in the form of a gravedigger? I would see Gendry as the Smith, not Robert. I like the idea of Bri as the Maiden and Dani as the Mother. About LSH, I just don't know.
  2. Bakkalon also carries a sword and apparently Tyrion told Penny that Bakkalon is another name for death. There is a pale babe at the Wall known as Monster. hmmm, Plenty of death at the Wall these days.
  3. The Hooded Man in Winterfell?
  4. If the Others use nature magic like the CotF, then perhaps when the wind is described as skirling, it's not the Others. Might be Gseers, BR maybe Bran? When the Others attacked the Fist the wind was said to sound like wailing, not the shrieking that could come from a bagpipe. Good catch!
  5. I'm glad you said this as I too noticed that both Jon and Cat meet terrible fates. Cat's experience of a skirling wind happens when she is descending from the Eyrie, going down to meet her fate one might say. Jon hears the skirling wind more that once and the first time it is happens when the wights are brought past the Wall. Could the skirling winds have somehow been a warning for Jon and Cat? Tyrion is another one who hears this wind and since it sounds like mockery, it's not a warning. Perhaps it wasn't laughing at Tyrion though, but those who thought his request for a trial by combat a jape. The joke was on them however. Sansa does not hear a skirling wind but it does skirl around her skirts on her accent to the Eyrie. The Eyrie was also not a good place for Sansa. That's a good question as except for Tyrion, it's the Starks who have heard the skirling wind. However, Tyrion was in the presence of a Stark, as Cat was in attendance when he heard the wind.
  6. Great work Tucu! The 'please, please, please' whispers Arya hears in the rustle of the willow branches, very creepy! Later the whisper that might be screams; lots of spooky wind in Harrenhal. The wind yanking Arya's cloak at High Heart, the wind really likes to play with cloaks. I wanted to say the wind could sound like a Banshee, but wasn't sure it would be accurate. I would say that at time's it really could be! Thanks LynnS! Good catch Sleeper!
  7. VOICES OF THE WIND: GRRM describes the wind in a myriad of ways and in this essay I explore his use of skirling and skirl as a descriptor. So what is a skirling wind? For that matter, what is a skirl? Definition of skirl is: skirl: (of bagpipes) make a shrill, wailing sound, also described as a shriek or shrieking. Bagpipes are found worldwide and were originally the air bag was made of animal skins. Skirling winds: Skirling winds are heard by Jon Snow, Catelyn Stark, and Tyrion. Jon hears the skirling wind three times; twice at the Wall after Othor and Flowers are brought in, at once at the Skirling Pass. Cat hears the skirling wind crossing the stone saddle from Stone to Sky on her way up the Eryie, and Tyrion hears the skirling wind at the Moon Door. The first mention of a skirling wind comes from Cat in AGOT Catelyn VI. She is traveling up the mountain to the Eyrie with Mya Stone riding from Stone to Sky and they approach a stone saddle bridge she first describes the wind as 'shrieking'. Later, as she is waiting for Mya to return after taking the mules across "Moving was about the last thing Catelyn was about to do. She listened to the skirling of the wind and the scuffling sound of leather on stone. Then Mya was there, taking her gently by the arm." The next time the phrase 'skirling wind' is used, Jon hears the wind skirling along the Wall after the Othor and Flowers corpses have been brought in and put into the ice storerooms. That night while sleeping, Jon is wakened by Ghost to discover Othor is a wight and is trying to kill Mormont and then Jon. Jon kills the wight with fire and saves himself and Mormont. Flowers however, kills Ser Jaremy Rykker before he is destroyed. Jon meets a skirling wind again as he rides the cage down from the Wall and "The wind was blowing wild from the east, so strong the heavy cage would rock whenever a gust got it in its teeth. It skirled along the Wall, shivering off the ice, making Jon's cloak flap against the bars." It not only skirls but makes Jon's coat flap against the bars as he rides it down to kill Mance Rayar on Slynt and Thorne's orders. Tyrion demands a trial by combat from Lady Aryn and all laugh "Even the wind seemed to whistle with derision as it came skirling through the Moon Door." ********** Wind not described as skirling, but could have. The wind at the Skirling Pass as described by Jon "The wind cut like a knife up here, and shrilled in the night like a mother mourning her slain children." Similar as to how the wind is described at the Fist. Little Giant describes it thus "It sounds like a babe in the brush, wailing away for milk." and later Chett agrees that "The wind did sound like a wailing child." Could these winds be voicing the terror and sadness of the women and children killed and turned into wights as they approach the Fist? Or are they the sounds the Others bring with them as they ride the wind to the Fist? Wind that skirls and howls: Alayne is traveling down from the Eyrie and as she is riding down from Sky “Mya's mule will see me through. The wind skirled around her, as she bumped and scraped her way down step by step. It seemed to take a lifetime.” Later when she and Sweet Robin cross the stone saddle to Snow, “She helped the boy dismount, and hand in hand they walked out onto the bare stone saddle, their cloaks snapping and flapping behind them. All around was empty air and sky, the ground falling away sharply to either side. There was ice underfoot, and broken stones just waiting to turn an ankle, and the wind was howling fiercely. It sounds like a wolf, thought Sansa. A ghost wolf, big as mountains.” ******************************* Skirls, skirl: (of bagpipes, a wind instrument) make a shrill, wailing sound. The word 'skins' refers to the bag of the bagpipes. Cat hears a skirled sound at the feast of the wedding of Edmure Tully and Roslin Frey. However, for what should be a happy celebration the music is dreadful, and Cat describes it as "The drums were pounding, pounding, pounding, and her head with them. Pipes wailed and flutes trilled from the musicians' gallery at the foot of the hall; fiddles screeched, horns blew, the skins skirled a lively tune, but the drumming drove them all." Interestingly, the skins skirled a lively tune while the other instruments wailed and screeched as the drums pounded. Disturbing sounds for a wedding celebration but not for what turned into a murderous, disturbing event, the Red Wedding, where Cat, Robb, Grey Wind and many other Starks and their bannermen lost their lives. Cat is not the only Stark who hears a skirled sound at the RW . The Hound and Arya hear the brazen blare of horns and thin skirling of pipes among other discordant sounds as they approach the Twins. "They heard the music before they saw the castle; the distant rattle of drums, the brazen blare of horns, the thin skirling of pipes faint beneath the growl of the river and the sound of the rain beating on their heads. "We've missed the wedding," the Hound said, "but it sounds as though the feast is still going. I'll be rid of you soon." Jon hears the skirl of skins when the wildings attack north of the Wall: "The fury of the wild, Jon thought as he listened to the skirl of skins, to the dogs barking and baying, the mammoths trumpeting, the free folk whistling and screaming, the giants roaring in the Old Tongue." **************************************************** So, what of the skirling wind, one of the many voices GRRM gives the wind? Among those voices are descriptions of skirling, whistles, and howls. It shrieks, morns and wails like grieving mothers and hungry perhaps abandoned children. A skirling wind can be terrifying, or in the case of Tyrion, full of mockery. As Wizz notes, much of GRRM's language and writing is subtle, and his use of the wind fits this insight. (Wizz and many fans have noted this, fortunately for those of us who are thick as castle walls, like me.) Thanks for reading! It's been a pleasure researching and writing my little essays. HAPPY NEW YEAR ALL!
  8. Happy New Year Wizz Kid! Hmmmm, like a greenseer you say, that's quite provocative. I haven't really thought of Gseer magic as naturalistic magic, but yeah, that fits and could fit the Others as well. In the Sam chapter the wind is cold and blowing ice crystals in their faces. He also describes the snow as swirling during the battle on the Fist. Yes, the mist caught my eye. I wonder about that mist. What caught my attention here is that it plops from a sentinel tree. Interestingly, these trees are found in the WF godswood and stand guard in front of the cave mouth where Bran finds the CotF and BR. In the Ghost of Winterfell chapter, Theon notes that the sentinel trees in the Godswood "tall soldiers shrouded in cloaks of gloom." Lastly, Ghost tries to climb the sentinel tree during Theon's attack on WF. My point here, is the sentinel trees are mentioned many times and sometimes find ways that seem to help the Starks or people associated with the Starks, like Sam. Also, the ravens flew away from the Fist and weren't mentioned for the rest of Sam's chapter. Could then, the sentinel trees been on watch for Sam, carrier of dragonglass? I think so too and the 'plop' helped Sam and company. These two chapters are packed full of great stuff.
  9. In ASOS Samwell I, Sam is escaping from the battle at at the Fist with two of his NW Brothers, Grenn and Small Paul when they encounter an Other. They had been with a group of survivors but had fallen behind and come to a stop. It was after dark with no moon described. They think they are alone until "The lower branches of the great green sentinel shed their burden of snow with a soft wet plop." This is when they find they aren't alone as an Other has caught up with them. Does this encounter meet Wizz's template of Wind, Necromancy and Ice Magic? Let's see what we find. WIND: "The wind sighed through the trees, driving a fine spray of snow into their faces. The cold was so bitter that Sam felt naked." This is the only description of the wind and it's driving snow into their faces. NECROMANCY: The Other is riding a dead horse with it's guts spilled out. This horse meets the description of the horse disemboweled in the escape down the hill, plus Small Paul identifies it as the horse of one of the Brothers. ICE MAGIC: First question, is the snow spray into their faces a bit of ice magic? Next, the Other is described as 'pale as ice.' Sam notes that "...the cold was in him, a cold so savage his bladder felt frozen solid..." Again I wonder, is the cold apart of the ice magic? "The Other slid gracefully from the saddle to stand upon the snow. Sword-slim it was, and milky white. Its armor rippled and shifted as it moved, and its feet did not break the crust of the new-fallen snow." Walking on top of fresh snow? Now that's magic. The Other kills Small Paul and Sam grabs his dragonglass dagger and stabs the Other. When stabbed, "He [Sam] heard a crack, like the sound ice makes when it breaks beneath a man's foot, and then a screech so shrill and sharp that he went staggering backward..." Next "When he opened his eyes the Other's armor was running down its legs in rivulets as pale blue blood hissed and steamed around the black dragonglass dagger in its throat. It reached down with two bone-white hands to pull out the knife, but where its fingers touched the obsidian they smoked. Sam rolled onto his side, eyes wide as the Other shrank and puddled, dissolving away. In twenty heartbeats its flesh was gone, swirling away in a fine white mist. Beneath were bones like milkglass, pale and shiny, and they were melting too. Finally only the dragonglass dagger remained, wreathed in steam as if it were alive and sweating. Grenn bent to scoop it up and flung it down again at once. "Mother, that's cold." What I find interesting is what happens to the Other, a creature of ice as it dies; it melts. It's armor runs in rivelets and it's blue blood hisses and steams. The flesh swirls into a fine white mist, the bones melt and the dagger was wreathed in steam. This tells me that dragonglass undoes ice magic. It looks like in this scene Wizz's criteria is met. We have wind, necromancy, and ice magic. I do have a question though, what made the sentinel pine drop it's snow with a plop? It was this sound that alerted them that they were not alone, but who alerted them? It would not be in the Other's interest to do that as he had the element of surprise until that moment. Is the 'plop' similar to the earlier unidentified voices we've also noted? As always, mysteries.
  10. Using's Wizz's post #158 as a template, I've looked at the attack of the NW on the Fist of the First Men as told in ASOS in the Prologue and Samwell I. This first post will look at the wight attack and I'll look at Sam's Other encounter next. WIND: "The wind was rising as the shadows lengthened. It made a high thin sound as it shivered through the stones of the ringwall. "I hate that sound," little Giant said. "It sounds like a babe in the brush, wailing away for milk." Later Chett describes the wind as "picking at the ring wall." This is just after the men recite their vows with Mormont when discussing battle plans for the attack they knew was coming. Later Chett notes that "...He found himself listening to the night. The wind did sound like a wailing child" NECROMANCY: The necromancy starts out very subtly with the hunting dogs having an odd reaction to bear prints in the snow: "The big black bitch had taken one sniff at the bear tracks, backed off, and skulked back to the pack with her tail between her legs. The dogs huddled together miserably on the riverbank as the wind snapped at them." Chett could not get the dogs to track and the wind is making an appearance here. Later when attacked Sam describes the wights as 'hundreds' and notes most were wildings but some were wearing 'faded blacks.' The wights attacked from all sides of the hill and easily breeched the ringwall. Some were walking and some were crawling. Among the attackers was a wighted bear. When Sam meets the Other, the Other is riding a wighted horse that had been killed during the escape; "Sam saw one [wight] claw open a garron's belly with its right hand while it clung to the saddle with its left." ICE MAGIC: Does ice magic include cold? In the prologue, the cold is mentioned not only by Chett, the POV character, but other Brothers as well. Being acclimated to the far North's cold climate, I thought that that is worth mentioning. Can Ice Magic include snow? Later in the night it begins to snow ; "Snow was falling. ... It was a heavy fall, thick white flakes coming down all about him." The deep snow fall would make both the battle and the escape more difficult. Chett describes the falling snow as, "He felt as though he were being attacked by a cloud of pale cold bugs. They settled on his shoulders, on his head, they flew at his nose and his eyes." (clever imagery) In Samwell I, Sam describes the fight at the Fist and tells of falling and swirling snow during the fight and when the survivors were riding down the hill. I would argue that in this attack we have wind, necromancy and ice magic, as what is snow but ice crystals?
  11. Let's not forget this quote from the finding of Othor and Flowers. Although it's not wind or cold, the warm weather is thought to be related to the rising of spirits and ghosts. Later the cold skirling wind raised not ghosts, but wights tucked in the storerooms of Castle Black.
  12. I really like this post! Am gonna read all the posts again, such good ones today.
  13. I'm thinking Mormont only heard the second voice, as we only have Jon's reaction to the whispered voice. I read it as the first voice whispered (to Jon) and the second voice urged which implies said aloud so all could hear. Still, both voices went unidentified, so yes, mysterious.
  14. I researched this and no, he doesn't. I misremembered his coming back from being left behind when Jon climbed the Wall. Ghost and Jon were reunited north of the Wall. Thanks Melifeather, for asking.
  15. One last post going back to Storm and the finding of Flowers and Othor. * We may have an early encounter of Bran and/or BR (one or both?) going back in time. Here is the scene: These unidentified voices were brought to my attention in the archived Jon Snow reread. It's easy to miss so I was glad to have it pointed out. Jon could not identify who said 'Burn them" even though he knew everyman there, and the second voice isn't identified either. I don't remember who pointed this out, but a great catch! *AGOT Jon VII chtr 52
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