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Julia H.

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  • Teaching the Common Tongue to Dothraki medicine men and women
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  1. Not a bad future dilemma, especially if we consider Tyrion's present situation. However, I don't think Tysha would dare to step forward and make such a claim on a Lannister unless she has some very powerful protection. The way I can see something like the above happening is if Tyrion meets Tysha while still in Essos, tells her that he has killed Tywin to avenge her, and convinces Tysha to follow him back to Westeros. Then, as the situation changes, he may have to face a dilemma like the above - marrying his true love, who has already agreed to follow him back to Westeros (giving up whatever life she had in Essos) or marrying for political advantage. It would be interesting, but I don't know what it would take for Tysha to want to have anything to do with Tyrion again. Tywin's death could be a factor, and also if Tysha has a very Lannister-looking son or daughter (or a son or daughter who looks like Tyrion), she may consider the advantages of Tyrion acknowledging him / her as his legitimate child. But it is also possible that she would never want her child to go near a Lannister.
  2. However, it is possible that the question won't be exactly "who has the best claim to rule the North", but "who will be able to defend the North". The North may need a "King of Winter", who may just resign when spring / summer comes so that a summer King(-in-the-North) can take over.
  3. Well, now you are here, for this night and all the nights to come till the end of this game.
  4. Thanks, I didn't know that. Interesting. (It's a bit of a let-down perhaps, because MMD did tell Dany not to enter the tent, which she eventually did, and if it's not totally just revenge, it gets more complex from the characters' viewpoint. But then again, the deliberate revenge version also makes sense.)
  5. I agree with this. Killing children is probably the single most evil thing to do that is highlighted in the series, and for someone who is closest to the profession of a midwife, perhaps even more so. Still, it must be taken into consideration that MMD was not in a position of power (quite on the contrary) and she couldn't choose the way to strike back. Also, she had undergone a trauma huge enough to make anyone lose their moral compass. It was the Dothraki who had turned her into this bitter, vengeful woman, who probably couldn't see any of the Dothraki (including Dany) as human beings - and that may actually have been her justification when she killed Rhaego. As we have seen other times, vengeance rarely affects only the guilty. On the other hand, @sweetsunray had an interesting and convincing post, a long time ago, analysing MMD's behaviour and advice and arguing that MMD did not intentionally kill Rhaego (it was more like magic gone wrong) but she claimed it out of bitterness when she was accused of murder (a bit like Tyrion).
  6. Thanks for this observation! I was thinking along similar lines, but in terms of the Sword of the Morning and the Ice Dragon constellations being perhaps both celestial equivalents of the ancient swords. The Sword of the Morning "hung in the south", whereas the Ice Dragon shows the way to the Wall several times in the novels. The Wall itself is repeatedly compared to an ice dragon. The mirroring relationship you mention between the Wall of "Ice" and the Sword of the Morning sounds very significant.
  7. Probably whatever you think they would. Stannis openly rejected that argument, but Melisandre's words indicate that in the end he accepted the argument, privately. This is very much like Stannis - the same one who denies having had anything to do with Renly's death, yet deep down knows it would not have happened without him, the same one who does not believe in his "Lightbringer" yet lets himself be called Azor Ahai reborn because it suits his purposes. Yes, Qhorin considers Mance an oathbreaker because Mance is an oathbreaker, and he considers him an enemy because Mance is about to attack the Wall and invade the Seven Kingdoms - with the wildlings, who are Mance's own people. Mance's black and red cloak is a symbol of Mance trying to combine his double loyalty - his loyalty to his native people and his loyalty to the NW brothers who had raised him - into one "cloak", but in the NW it was impossible, so he chose his loyalty to his people - at the cost of breaking his vow. It does not make him less of an oathbreaker or less of an enemy but it does put him into a different light as a person. If we add to this the facts that he has influence over the wildlings, he has recent knowledge about the Others and the wights, his political goals can be reconciled with those of the Watch since they have a common enemy, then sparing his life and turning him into an ally makes more sense than killing him, from a practical viewpoint. Of course. Yet, this story is not about Maester Aemon or Lord Commander Hoare, who remained passive while their family members (otherwise protected by proper armies) were being killed far away from them, but about Jon Snow, a hero with strong family ties, who needs to give up his family again and again in situations which make it a more and more difficult decision, and is finally put in a situation where the plight of a helpless little sister, with not protective army or family behind her, comes right to his door. This story is there to make the reader think of how far a person can - should - go in the name of a promise made once in very different circumstances, as more and more things happen where the value of that promise needs to be weighed against other considerations. It is also about the question of following the rules to the letter or following the spirit of your vocation. The oaths themselves are not. People's choices though... Do you really think the reason why no armies march to the Wall to attack Stannis there is that everyone, oh, just so much respects the neutrality of the NW? I gave you examples of how various players were trying to interfere with the NW and extend their influence over them. Why invent imaginary situations instead of looking at the ones that are actually in the books? This one started as a very special military order. Today it is only a shadow of what it was meant to be. That doesn't mean no one ever can get recognition for defending a castle. A certain period of my country's history offers various examples of soldiers who became heroes while defending castles. The idea that only conquerors can win glory seems somewhat narrow-minded to me. Sure, a conqueror may be much more motivated by the ambition to win glory than someone who "merely" protects people, because conquest has more to do with vain self-glorification than protection, which has much more to do with sacrifice. The difference between conquerors and protectors is highlighted in Jon's arc. His childhood hero was the Young Dragon, a typical conqueror. But he has come to understand that his true vocation is not to conquer but to protect. Yet, "glory" can be as simple as having a song sung about a fallen hero or having their heroic deeds or their sacrifice recorded in a "white book". You are right "King of Winter" and "King-in-the-North" are used interchangeably. I may be wrong, but I have had the impression that the Kings of Winter were the early Stark kings because this title sounds like the title of a mythological king from a period when being the king of "winter" was more important than being the king of a political-geographical unit, and it may imply a certain magical power even. "King-in-the-North" sounds more "modern", so to speak, maybe a newer version, and it seems to refer to a political figure rather than a mythological or semi-mythological one. I should check, but I have the suspicion that the ancient kings in the crypts tend to be referred to as Kings of Winter and not as Kings-in-the-North. No expanation is given, but we can only assume that there is more to the wildling-kneeler relationship historically than mere raiding and fighting. GRRM took care to supply the peoples of Essos with various languages, even providing some "language history" for some of them, and he gave the CoTF and the Others languages of their own. It wouldn't have been difficult to give the wildlings their own language distinct from those spoken south of the Wall. But you know, if it were only the language, it would be easier to believe that it's just an odd, unrealistic aspect of the world-building. However, the religion is also the same. There are also people like the Thenns, who are more similar to the Northerners than the other wildling groups. We can see cultural differences and similarities between wildlings and Northerners. But we are also shown that the willdings are not a homogenous group themselves, and nor are the Northerners perhaps. But she wouldn't condemn Craster's practices if they were the norms of the wildlings. They are not what ordinary - or, if you like "true" - wildlings do, and that's the point. But the Others exist. The vow could mention the Seven Kingdoms or any number of kingdoms. It specifically mentions the "realms of men". There is no geographical or political entity, nor has there been as far as we know, called "the realms of men". So the vow refers to something that is different from a political or geographical unit.
  8. Bolton soldiers? It is implied that the switch between Mance and Rattleshirt was with the consent of Stannis. It basically means that Stannis needed a loophole to be persuaded to let Mance live. Both he and Jon knew that Mance had valuable knowledge regarding the Others and wights. Stannis does not go against the law - but what if he doesn't have to? True. But again, when you are preparing for a desperate fight against a mysterious enemy, you don't want to throw away a possible source of information. Besides, I think Mance's situation in the NW was rather special, and Jon, of all people, can understand it. Even Qhorin understood it. The raiders put to the sword could be his family members. His life was spared by the rangers in the only way they were able to help this wildling child, but that does not change the fact that he was raised to fight his own people. In these circumstances, I do think that desertion - going home - is more understandable. But that's it, you cannot just erase all obligations. Jon gave up his family in the knowledge that they wouldn't need him, since they were rich and powerful. Jon's loyalty to the NW has been tested several times. But his final test was a little sister in extreme need of her only surviving relative. And he wasn't going to leave the NW for her. He just wanted to have her found and taken to safety. Compared to the pitch letter, this is a much richer and more complex story. Well, if he had sent some NW members, he would still be condemned. Perhaps. But I don't think he wouldn't have been allowed to talk to him if he hadn't mentioned the Wall. When Jon offered to join, he tried to dissuade him. What remains is human beings in critical situations, faced with difficult choices, conflicts of the heart between NW and family. Oh, come on. What would anyone gain by attacking their fortresses or destroying them? It is about using them in their game of thrones. Well, we don't see a commander take a different vow even though we see an election. That's exactly what makes me think that in the beginning they could be individual vows depending on what the person found a relevant sacrifice for himself. I'm assuming that they were enthusiastic volunteers giving up their lives and worldly ambitions to the cause of defending humanity. Stannis is not a good example - with his complete lack of charisma, no one who knows him is likely to sincerely glorify him. I could say examples from real history when the defenders of a castle went down in history as heroes. What happens in my mind is analysis of a text that appears in literature. I think we are supposed to do it. (I am not the only one.) But I don't like the tone of this particular comment of yours. The question is whether the King of Winter and the King-in-the-North are exactly the same titles. I'm not sure about that. They may belong to different historical periods. And it led to other changes. He literally refers to what people will / may say. (I gave you the quote above.) That's a pretty clear indication that he is thinking of how his brothers (and himself) will be judged by other people, not of what his own conciousness says. He also uses the word if. So? Well, yes, part of the garrison in Castle Black may survive to receive the Others. GRRM isn't doing "linguistics", much less creating any language when he decides to give the wildlings the same language as to the people in the Seven Kingdoms. He is doing world-building, which he is quite good at. It doesn't matter what his reasons are - after all we can't see into his head. What matters is that this results in a circumstance that unifies these peoples - along with other circumstances also created by the author. No, I don't think it was genetically transmitted, nor does it matter. The point is that Ygritte, who knows the wildling society, finds Craster alien to it. It doesn't matter whether she can guess the origin of Craster's behaviour or not, what matters is that she finds it different from the wildling way. Hence her opinion that it must come from his "kneeler" ancestor. Incidentally, Craster practises incest, among other things, and we know at which end of the continent we have seen similar practices. Note that I'm not saying that Craster is a Targaryen, only that some of his strange ways do have parallels in the South. The Night's King sacrificed to the Others, had a "corpse-like" queen and kept the Watch in bondage by sorcery. That pretty much shows where he stood. It was against him that the two kings on the two sides of the Wall formed a union "to free the Watch from bondage". Interesting. Metaphor? Of course, people in Westeros live in kingdoms, so that is a natural word for them to use. Even the wildlings have kings. However, realm has several meanings in English. Cambridge Dictionary: 'an area of interest and activity' 'a country ruled by a queen or king' Example sentences: Similarly, specific regions of the human body are said to correspond to the material, celestial, and intellectual realms. The following years saw hectic activity in religious and cultural realms. The separate realms of nature and culture are bridged by a movement back and forth. Idealistically speaking, changes in two major social realms outside the museum could help alleviate present problems. Merriam Webster 'kingdom' 'sphere, domain' Examples: new discoveries in the realm of medicine in political and legal realms Epstein, a millionaire moving in the social realm that passes for aristocracy in the United States; The island geographically is part of the Seven Kingdoms. But if the green men are CotF, I doubt that they care much about the human society around them. They certain don't mingle. People don't even know for sure who they are. I doubt that they pay tax to the king.
  9. Excellent post. Sheep definitely indicate vulnerability, and who are more vulnerable than people? We see how people with less power are subjected to violence from the more powerful ones, we could even say that this is how society is layered - but then mankind may soon be at the mercy of even more powerful forces. Fire dragons and ice dragons - should we look at them as (magical) forces of nature or as (the agents of) sentient enemies? The Lamb People may also refer to children since a lamb is a young sheep, and violence against children is a central motif. Ned defines himself as the one who does not kill children, and I think this can easily be the acid test to separate "the sheep and the goats" of ASOIAF. (Are you willing to go this far to achieve your goals?) The motif of shepherds is related to leadership and protection. A good shepherd protects the sheep and leads them to a safe place, a good king protects his people or he is no king at all. Characters in leadership position often face the choice of sacrificing their "sheep" or protecting them. The dilemma of Stannis over Edric Storm is such a choice. Another dilemma, which is less frequently discussed but I think ties neatly into the "people are sheep" metaphor, is the disagreement between Edmure and the Blackfish whether to open the gates of the castle and let the smallfolk find refuge there or leave them outside to be the prey of the "lions" in order to save food for the soldiers. Edmure's choice is to protect his "sheep", but his decision is overridden by the decision of the Blackfish, who, in essence sacrifices the sheep to the lions for "practical" considerations. Closely related is the motif of sacrifice versus self-sacrifice. The story is full of legends or beliefs about the magical power of killing someone (usually someone special) as a sacrifice to win the favour of a supernatural power, to acquire magical abilities. Yet, the only true sacrifice is self-sacrifice, and the willingness of certain heroes to sacrifice themselves for other people may well be the saving grace of humanity when all is said and done.
  10. Whoever thinks he can give them orders they must blindly follow. The glamour on Mance was done by Melisandre, but it was probably with consent from Stannis, and the idea of letting Mance live may well have come from Stannis, and Melisandre only provided the means. Letting Mance live was what Jon himself had requested because he thought Mance's experience with the Others could be useful. The info Melisandre gave Jon concerned the well-being of someone he loved and who had no other relatives to help her but Jon. That's the kind of info people rarely just ignore. (In my country recently there have been criminals who exploited just this impulse. They called old people on the phone saying that their grandchild had had an accident, was in no condition to contact anyone personally, but needed money. You have no reason to trust complete strangers, but when it is about the life or well-being of someone you love, people may easily risk being deceived rather than not help their loved one, should the emergency be real.) Jon had only one way to verify whether Melisandre said the truth or not, but just the glamour on Mance and Rattleshirt made it clear the woman had real magical powers, so ignoring her information was not a reassuring solution. After the arrival of Alys, Jon became more suspicious about Melisandre's knowledge. The conversation was started by Benjen though, and not on the topic of the NW. Benjen had no way of knowing where it would lead. He started it simply as an uncle talking to a teenage nephew who was drinking too much. But that's clearly not the story GRRM is writing. Still, those attitudes indicate that players totally disregard the NW neutrality as soon as the neutrality does not suit their purposes. I think the reason why the neutrality is not in the vows is precisely that it has to be mutual. Besides, in a situation where one king helps, even saves the NW in their fight, while the others don't, remaining totally neutral does not sound like the best idea. Neutrality is depicted as an unrealistic ideal in certain circumstances at least. We don't know how it began. It may have been at first just a bunch of warriors deciding to dedicate their lives to this purpose, forming a sacred order, each of them taking his own, voluntary oath (not necessarily with the same details but whatever may have been the most relevant to each), which could later be "codified" and its text finalized as more people joined, and it may well have been extended when prisoners started to be added. But "wearing no crowns" is not a good way of saying 'I won't be involved in politics'. It means only they will seek no personal power or royal titles. It could still allow for the NW supporting a king against other kings for some reason. Defense can also be glorious. Ambition and glory can motivate some people. I mean: no divided loyalties - fine; no personal wealth or wordly title - fine; never again leaving the Wall unless on NW business - fine; dying for the realm - fine. But not even getting recognition for all that? I think there are only two options here: They either expected only saints to join them (and how many were they going to have?) or some parts were invented for those who were put into to NW for punitive purposes, and they needed to accept the conditions on which they were allowed to go on living. Sure, but each clause has been included for a purpose. Part of the oath speaks about legendary heroes, another part more about prisoners. No, not really like that. This really means spending a lifetime in a place. It is not impossible that there was a time when difference was made between those who were there for a noble calling and those who bought their lives with it - if only in the oaths themselves. Of course, one could argue what "post" means. Does it always have to be on the Wall? Just for the sake of an example, what if Jon found that (for some reason) he absolutely needed to rule from Winterfell in order to properly defend the realm against the Others? Would that be his "post"? Or, if the Wall comes down, will it be oathbreaking if the black brothers continue fighting the Others from some Northern fortress or from different Northern fortresses? Sure enough. True, but changes have happened in history. The Starks are no longer the Kings of Winter, and we also know that the NW as an organization has greatly changed - declined - compared to what it was or what it was meant to be. Much is made of the need to remember and specifically that the NW should remember - because they have clearly forgotten a lot, and that's only possible if important things have changed. That's all true, but I think this is a special case where breaking the oaths can be for NW purposes. Jon's actually words are a bit ambiguous: He thinks if this is oathbreaking, and that people won't be able to say he made his brothers break their vows. This may mean Jon himself does not think he is really breaking the vows, but he knows other people will say that. So in his view he does what needs to be done even if he will be accused of oathbreaking, but no one else needs to have the same taint or burden either on their own consciusness or in the eyes of the world. It is somewhat similar to what Jon has done before: Seemingly breaking the vows and deserting to join the wildlings but still acting in the interest of the NW. That the Night's King broke all the rules means he allied himself with the Others, the very power the NW's purpose is to stand up to. Isn't is interesting, another historical person whose proper name is not known is the Last Hero. Well, Ramsay is either the rightous and reasonable lord who only punishes the guilty or he is a madman. Maybe Jon was hoping that Ramsay would get killed personally in the confrontation. Then people would say it was all the Lord Commander's fault, he was leading a wildling army, after all. I'm not sure the NW will support the mutineers unanimously. Not to mention the wildlings who have sworn their allegiance to Jon. So even without Ramsay there can be bloodshed in Castle Black right after the assassination. If the purpose is really the survival of the NW, then the assassination attempt may easily backfire and turn out to be the worse option. The Old Tongue is the original language of First Men, so it used to be the language of the ancestors of the Northerners. There are probably other aspects of wildling culture that used to be part of First Men culture in general. The Andal language itself may have changed, but it is still perceived as the same language. The speakers still understand each other because there has been enough communication among them so that no new languages have evolved. Even though this is indeed unrealistic, the fact remains that some of the wildlings also speak it somehow, and their Old Tongue is also a language that used to be spoken all over Westeros. GRRM gives the same language to the people beyond the Wall as to those south of it, which emphasizes their common origin and shared history to the extent that some wildlings even speak the Andal tongue. The woman from beyond the Wall is described as a "corpse queen", not as an ordinary human person. The religion of the Old Gods is the same religion on both sides of the Wall even if there are differences. Craster does seem like an anomaly rather than the rule. Mormont may see Craster as a typical wildling, Ygritte, however, a wildling herself, tells Jon: That does not sound like the wildlings actually endorse what Craster is up to. In fact, neither side embraces Craster and his practices as their own. (Mormont thinks Craster is like that because he is a wildling, but Ygritte thinks Craster is like that because he had been fathered by some crow.) He is also considered cursed by the wildlings. If Craster was the typical wildling, the wildlings wouldn't need to flee from the Others. But it's not just that GRRM can't do maths. He gives the wildlings and the Northerners the same language and the same religion, both going back to the First Men. He also makes them share certain aspects of their culture, though the culture has become diverse over time due to various historical events. He also gives us a historical situation where the humans from both sides of the Wall fought together against the Others. Of course not, because the CotF do not belong to the realms of men. Nor do they want to. You know - they are not human beings but a different (magical) race. I don't see the realms of men as a geographical entity. Human beings belong to the realms of men. The Others and the CotF do not, no matter where they live. At some point in history, some geographical areas were designated for humanoid magical races to occupy. Apparently, some humans still live there (the CotF are not necessary happy about it), just as there may be CotF living on the Isle of Faces. It does not mean that the CotF living on the Isle of Faces belong to the realms of men, nor do I think they regard themselves as belonging there.
  11. Some shadows are shapeshifters and can speak like Patchface.
  12. Ah, I see the first riddle to solve is here. Now I will be thinking of mimosas and Greek operas. What might be the theme?
  13. Where is it said that the reason for which the place can be temporarily left by a black brother is limited to two or three options? And yes, it is the competence of the "President" to make such decisions. Unusual situations may require unusual decisions. (Marsh also made an unusual decision.) Jon's thoughts above directly support what I said: He is protecting the NW, not only by preventing an attack by Ramsay but also by saving them from any semblance of oathbreaking. Let's hope Ramsay will also stay away from him. So far Ramsay has also had everything he wanted. And in the meantime, it has dwindled to a portion of its original size. At the beginning of the story, the Wall is mostly manned by prisoners (with some notable exceptions), and the black brothers have no idea how to face the threat of the Others - many of them (Bowen Marsh included) don't even seem to realize that this is the purpose the NW must serve. Mormont knows the Watch is not what is should be. Jon knows. The World Book also laments the decline of the Watch. We also know that they couldn't even fight off a massive wildling attack without the help of Stannis. So how are they prepared to face the Others, who so easily massacred the best of the Watch on the Fist? Trying is an important word here. Of course, it's different. Jon acted on the information he was given. How was he to know that the information was false without having it verified? What do you mean? Kinslaying and guest right are two different laws. Kinslaying has nothing to do with your kin being your guest or not. The wildlings and the Northerners are culturally very close. They speak the same language and still understand each other. They follow the same religion. They have the same words for many of the constellations. If they had been truly separated 8000(!) years ago, they would be much more different. We also know that the King-beyond-the-Wall joined forces with the King of Winter to defeat the Night's King, who was in league with the Others. That's a pretty clear indication of when and how the realms of men must unite against the Others. Wherever the wildlings live, they are humans, and humans fight, unfortunately. Yet, the time has come to cooperate. As for Craster, Ygritte specifically denies that Craster is a typical wildling or that his practices are accepted by the wildlings. Craster didn't think he needed to flee as most wildlings did. There are also the CotF, who live north of the Wall. They helped men during the Long Night, and they probably also wanted some territory of their own that was not part of the realms of men. They don't seem to be fleeing to the realms of men even now.
  14. @FictionIsntReal That's part of the reason why I've said the Boltons know they are guilty of foul play. This is what the Pink Letter says: Not much room for middle ground. That does not make guest right any less relevant. It is for a reason that the writer brings it up several times before the Pink Letter arrives. However, when Stannis goes to war and leaves behind Melisandre and a dozen "mostly useless" men in Castle Black, and Selyse arrives with a retinue of fifty men, the NW could easily overpower them - but Jon tells Selyse that they are guests. So, what then, let them search Castle Black? How about the other castles of the Night's Watch? If Ramsay thinks Jon is hiding the persons he wants, he won't be persuaded that they are not there. But Bowen Marsh definitely deserves a chance to explain to Ramsay that they have neither "Arya", nor Reek. Of course, Jon does try to keep the Baratheon women and the baby from Ramsay, the rapist and murderer who flays women. This is the sort of thing that makes a character a hero. Normally they would. But Jon gets the specific information that his sister is riding to him alone, on a dying horse. That's indeed unusual, and that is exactly why sending an escort seems necessary. And during this visit the First Ranger would never think of talking to anyone else ... like a nephew? Because that would be oathbreaking? (No.) If the First Ranger can meet the Lord of Winterfell, then the Lady of Winterfell can also seek help from the Lord Commander, and the Lord Commander is allowed to receive the Lady of Winterfell - a Stark by birth - in Castle Black. There would be nothing strange about it at all if the present Lord of Winterfell weren't a sadistic psychopath. That's the only thing that would establish it? Wow. Not the slaughter of peacefully travelling black brothers by the royal forces for which no amends are ever made? Not the interference with their election? So... the election candidates are judged by their left-behind families and geographical origins and rejected because their families and countries are not pro-Lannister? And the NW should choose as they are told? That's blatant disrespect of political neutrality. That the Wall will melt is an obvious threat even if Tywin did not have time to act on it. It seems to have been formed by free men, who took those vows voluntarily, so hardly a prison colony from the beginning. That's certainly implied by Aemon's words. Or here: Apparently, no prisoners or criminals were there in the beginning, according to the recorded sources or oral tradition. I don't recall it ever being said that the NW started out as a prison camp. Taking the black was apparently meant to be a noble calling, a voluntary sacrifice, which is probably the only reason why it is still an honourable option for noblemen. The vows in their present form have a punitive tone, however. Why would, for example, warriors voluntering to take the black vow to wear no crowns (in the plural)? And why are they prohibited from gaining glory? Those clauses sound as though they were invented for defeated enemies, former or would-be kings who may have been the first kind of prisoners to take the black, and the "noble calling" may have been extended to ordinary criminals and trespassers later on. If we compare just two phrases from the vows: They basically refer to the same thing (why twice?), yet, the first one sounds like a narrow-minded, down-to-earth, punitive promise of someone who has lost his freedom and emphasizing the prisoner status of the person ('I won't leave this place ever'), while the second one sounds like the proud promise of someone with honor, who gives his life as a voluntary, honourable sacrifice to the Night's Watch (not to a "post") as an organization. I think the second sentence, which by itself pledges all the man has, may well go back to the beginnings, while the first one - not necessarily. I don't think Aemon has a copy of the vow from 8000 years ago. But his explanation of the "no wives" vow from the founders comes hand-in-hand with their pledge to "take no part". Both sound like the voluntary promises of these men based on what they thought right. But the "take no part" clause is not in the vows. There is no telling whether these promises at the time were individual (voluntary) promises or a formal, unified vow, as they are today. We don't know when the words became exactly the same for everyone, but it is very likely that the text changed over 8000 years, as all texts passed down from generation to generation change over time.
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