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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. This is a very interesting topic and a very good discussion. I think Borroq will be important later on. His arrival in Castle Black places a lot of emphasis on this character, being a skinchanger, the last one to enter, calling Jon "brother". As for what his role will be... There are some very convincing posts above on how Borroq may become important. For my part though, I would like to speculate on how we, readers, are meant to react to him. Borroq definitely does not seem to be a nice guy. To start with, he is extremely ugly. "Borroq looked so much like his boar that all he lacked was tusks," as Varamyr thinks. According to Jon, the man is "no beauty", he has an ugly smile, Jon notices how ugly the boar is even for a boar (and Borroq looks like his boar). Tormund does not seem to like him. This can be simply because Borroq is a skinchanger or because of other reasons. Apparently, even skinchangers have biases (justified or not, we don't know) against other skinchangers. Again, Varamyr's recollections: So, according to Haggon, another wildling skinchanger, boars are among the "skins" that should be left alone due to what skinchangers bonded to them might become. Since Haggon was apparently a much better person than his pupil, Varamyr, we should probably listen to his opinion on quesions of skinchanger morality. Then, there is also Ghost. He apparently does not like Borroq or his boar, or maybe either, which causes some tension in Castle Black. That should put Jon and us on our guard. In addition, Borroq's clearly does not possess an engaging manner. Although he calls Jon "brother" at first (skinchangers apparently recognize each other, Jon certainly does recognize him at first sight), he also calls him a "crow" and Ghost a "dog" in the Shieldhall: Not exactly respectful, is he? There is also his strange habit of dwelling in a tomb, in the Shieldhall standing in a dark corner - enough to cause suspicion. In addition, Othell Yarwyck suspects him of bad intentions. Against all this, what is in his favour? It is that one word when he calls Jon "brother". What does that mean? Is this the usual greeting among skinchangers? We don't know, but Borroq does not seem to be the kind who is much concerned about the polite formalities of social interaction. Is it a sign that he has recognized Jon and that he knows that Jon has recognized him as well? Is it a sign of good will? But then - if it is so - why is he such a suspicious character? I don't have a definite answer, but I can imagine that maybe - maybe - Borroq's presentation to the reader is one of the author's little tricks to mislead us, playing on our prejudices. He is ugly, but when did GRRM ever say that we should judge any character based on the character's degree of beauty? Haggon warned Varamyr against skinchangers bonded to boars, but how do we know it wasn't just Haggon's own prejudice against certain animals? After all, Varamyr was, like Haggon or the Starks, bonded to wolves, yet, he was anything but a good person. So can you really judge a skinchanger on the basis of his / her animal? Tormund does not like Borroq, but do we know how well they know each other or what causes this dislike? Ghost does not like Borroq / the boar, and that's a tough problem to solve, but even here the author may play with the fact that Ghost cannot explain what exactly his problem is, so there is room for some misunderstanding here between Ghost and Jon. Borroq's rough way of speaking in the Shieldhall ... It could be explained by a momentary feeling of disappointment when Jon says he is not going to Hardhome with the Watch. Borroq may have emotions after all. Then there is his tendency to stay away from people and stay in the dark. I don't know, his staying away from other people may perhaps be due to his willingness to avoid conflicts between his boar and others (including Ghost), which may be caused by bad experience. He is apparently not a popular guy. No doubt, the boar has influenced his personality, and it wasn't good for his social skills. But does that necessarily mean he is a foe rather than a friend? Othell's opinion is probably not a strong argument against him, since Othell is full of prejudice. So, what I mean is that Borroq could be read in at least two very different ways, and it is probably not an accident. We will see what comes out of him. As for the boar, yes, it has complicated symbolism in the novels (excellent posts on that, too!). The fact that Borroq looks almost totally like his (ugly) boar, IMO, does not only mean that he has a sort of "boar-like" personality (he probably does) but that the bond between them is very strong. It may even cause him to avoid human society and choose the boar instead. That, in my eyes, makes it somewhat less likely that he would want another animal. But then again who knows...
  2. To be honest, this is an issue even if R+L=J is not true. I mean we know what people in-world believe about Rhaegar and Lyanna, and as long as they believe that, they should wonder, regardless of the hidden truth. It is possible that Ned arranged the journey home in such a way that Lyanna's bones and the baby would not be transported together or seen arriving anywhere at the same time, just so people would dissociate Jon from Lyanna.
  3. They are "alike" at a superficial glance perhaps. Lyanna may well have seen the difference that was significant to her. (And no, Robert wasn't just "rumour".) There are certainly huge gaps in the story that we know. There is no evidence that Lyanna and Rhaegar didn't care about the war around them, there is no reason to believe that any of what happened had been their intention, that things did not go terribly wrong somewhere. Nor is there evidence that it all started as a romantic elopement story. (I have some ideas on that, and perhaps one day I'll have the time to do some research on those ideas and maybe write them into a post.) Their story is definitely not a happy one, the general outcome makes that much clear, and it couldn't be a "proper" love story given all the complications we know of. I don't think it means that it must have been something totally dark though, like the deliberate sacrifice of thousands of people for "the greater good". (If a prophecy is really to come true, I would expect it do so in a roundabout way, not as a character intends to fulfill it anyway.) Both Rhaegar and Lyanna deserve the benefit of the doubt until we find out what really happened. This is not a finished story, and the author may still have some secrets he has managed to keep.
  4. ... and then the two of you would get the easiest characters in this game!
  5. Yes, though I'm not totally sure that they figured it out correctly. I mean it is possible, but it could also be some kind of self-deception. Perhaps they want to reassure themselves that their children are still alive and well. That's absolutely possible, but I cannot blame them for doing that while they had no alternative - it is like the Others were imposing a terrible kind of tax system on them - and it is all the more important that they accepted an alternative solution when it was offered. Ygritte calls Craster cursed and says he is not really like the wildlings, and it shows a moral attitude towards Craster's practices. I think that in this story the Night's King is a symbolic stand-in for the Others, there is a reason why it is mentioned that he sacrificed to them, and it gives an example where wildlings and Starks can fight together rather than against each other. Exactly. Craster had a choice, which makes him different from those who may have been forced to give the Others what they wanted with no alternatives. Also, a population where sacrificing all male baby children is the norm is not likely to survive for long. It has as much ground as the one where the wilding ancestors are Other-worshippers. Possibilities, nothing more. The Others take human children from Craster, so they may have taken some humans during the Long Night as well. Servants or captives or slaves. I agree that it is very possible. I agree with this, too. Perhaps, but again, they are all sorts of people. Some will find it easier to integrate. Some will have more courage to fight when there is a magical Wall between them and the Others. Some may want to take revenge for loved ones killed by the Others. Some may stay because of the hostage they gave or the promise theymade. Some may come from so far North, that the Gift may seem to them to be a summer paradise. Some may have come from so far away that they have hardly heard about the Wall or the Watch, so they feel no hatred for them. It is very realistic that there will be also those who will not want to fight or those who just want to go as far South as possible. But at least they are not wights, fighting for the Others, and, of course, they'll experience the bitter realization that the Long Night is coming after them.
  6. That's a bit rich, when I quoted Melisandre's exact words to Jon and everything that Stannis said to Jon as well. I pointed out why it is very likely. The logical implication in Melisandre's words is that Stannis accepted Jon's argument. Mance was wearing Melisandre's ruby, so it is possible that Stannis had some reassurance that this would not happen. And currently, the blame is put on Jon, not on Stannis, even though he had nothing to do with the fake Mance. That would not have served the interests of Stannis. But Stannis is capable of deceit and hypocrisy - his "Lightbringer" is proof of that, also the whole shadow baby business, his secret extra-marital affair with Melisandre. Stannis argued with Melisandre about Edric Storm because he was reluctant to sacrifice a kid (and a kinsman) at the stake - at least until he was given proof that it would work oh, so well. But he does not argue with Melisandre about how magic works. If Melisandre tells him that Mance's blood would not be good enough for R'hllor, what can Stannis say against that? Stannis does not have to confide in Jon when he makes a decision. Keeping information to himself means an advantage he does not give up unless it is necessary. LOL, didn't I say "almost" any means? Obviously, by "victory" Stannis means his own victory. He is willing to fight for the realm but not selflessly as Jon Snow does. But giving Jon Rattleshirt does not make sense. Giving him Mance does. And it's an awfully big coincidence if Stannis has no idea who "Rattleshirt" is. Once. He is cunning. He does things openly and he does things secretly, as it suits him. There is nothing too "subtle" about it. Because he does not need to. Besides, in this way, when Jon finds out the truth, it will be Jon's responsibility to decide whether the deserter is to be executed or not, since Stannis will not be there. This worked so well that even many of the fandom keep accusing Jon of letting Mance live instead of punishing him as though the whole switch had been Jon's idea. Between Melisandre and Jon, Stannis can wash his hands of the deception. But Stannis and Jon are allies, and Stannis realizes that Jon will be holding the Wall while he is away fighting the Ironborn and the Boltons. So why not give him some help? Unless it's Jon who gets the ultimate blame. German, English, Spanish and other languages spoken in several different countries by peoples with their own national identities. Right, call the difference / similarity between the Northerners and the wildlings whatever you want to. For some reason the Andal influence was strong enough for their language to become the official language even in the North. It was a process that may have taken six thousands of years to happen, a time period that real life language historians cannot really look back on. Perhaps he wanted. But he would hardly have wanted to simplify things if the result had been contrary to his larger purpose. If he had wanted to emphasize the difference and the barriers between the wildlings and the northerners, he could have given them different languages and different religions. I wouldn't presume to say what the author "wanted" though. Whether by design or by mistake, the wildlings and the Northerners used to speak the same language and changed that old language to the same new language, and kept the same common religion. All that makes them strongly connected. Come on now. If it is involuntary drafting for a lifetime, not just for a limited amount of time (however long), with no glory or other gains offered, then it's a slave or prison institution, and no, not an honourable option for young nobles who have committed nothing wrong. It is clearly shown by the recent decline of the Watch. A few noble houses still hold the Watch in enough respect to send a son there sometimes, but it is only for the historical reputation of the Watch. For most, it's hardly an option to consider. Don't they complain that the wilding raiders steal girls? At the same time, we know that stealing is the actual wilding wedding ceremony. Thanks for the examples. Why wouldn't there be such people? Noble ones can afford to go as far as Essos (like Jorah), smallfolk, however, can't pay for the voyage overseas, but can climb the Wall when they are in trouble. Crows also leave the Watch sometimes and join the wildlings. Why not ordinary people? That many thousands of years of coexistence, spent in a predominantly oral culture, led to the people speaking a common language? Where is France and Germany with their short history compared to that? Which is why they do not sign anything but have other means to make an agreement. Well, those who follow the same king can be considered to be part of the same "realm". There are tribes and other fragmented groups in the Seven Kingdoms as well, and yet you consider this country a realm. The Long Night comes with the Others, and the purpose of the Wall is to prevent their invasion. The Long Night doesn't only mean cold, it also means lack of sunshine, lack of light, lack of food, lack of proper water supply. You forget that the series is not yet finished. There are plenty of things that have not been indicated by the text but still are parts of the story, yet to be revealed. Something happened in Essos because they also have stories of a Long Night. The Others don't need to sail, if the sea gets frozen, they can cross on foot. Or maybe it was simply the night and the cold that was extended to Essos, but it does seem sure that Essos was and can again be affected by a Long Night, therefore preventing the Long Night wherever it starts protects them as well. Yet, it is repeatedly said that the Watch has forgotten the true purpose and how to fight for it. I didn't say Jon killed Ygritte. But he did leave her behind to return to the Watch even though he was sincerely in love with her. That's a kind of moral necessity, given the strong prohibition against kinslaying. He would have been cursed if he had done it. You don't believe the wildfire thing really factored into his decision? I know that, but there was a point where Jaime could have done it - after Joffrey had sacked Barristan, when Tywin was at the peak of his power and wanted Jaime to leave the KG, when Jaime had already lost his hand. Not everyone would have approved, but the Lannisters were mostly past that point by then. But it's individuals who decide to keep or break the oaths, not the organizations. Yet, if the wildlings are Other-worshippers, shouldn't they either support or at least leave alone an Other-worshipper with great magical power? By bringing down the Night's King, the Watch was freed, and that was part of the story as well - and that's what the wildlings helped to achieve.
  7. I was pointing out the difference between an object and an organization consisting of people. Talking of speculation, it is possible that the name "the Others" is not the "real" or "original" name of the Others, but that there was a taboo against mentioning them by their own name, and that's how they came to be known as the "Others", any other name they could be known by being forgotten. After all, the name of the Night's King has also been forgotten. That would be quite a twist, but it cannot be ruled out. However, if it is so, then there is something to say for the people who managed to stay human (as a group) beyond the Wall for thousands of years. Lots of different groups, yes, but we know that most (or many) of them flee the Others, instead of making a pact with them. Sure, for all we know, there can be any number of humans still staying happily in the Far North, but if it is so, we don't know anything about them. We are discussing the wildlings we have seen in the books, no? Joramun being a king probably means that he did not join with the Starks as a single person, however, what really matters, I think, is the message of this historical fact in that it provides a precedent for the Starks and the wildlings cooperating against the Others (even if it was only the Night's King). The point is not the actual numbers, but that there is this historical episode, which can be quite relevant with regard to the present, and it is clearly not about the wildlings supporting the Others or the Night's King against the Watch. But we have only seen one wildling feeling "safe"due to a pact with the Others, while we have seen thousands flee from them. That should mean something, either that such pact is not readily available to everyone or that these people do not want to make a pact with the Others. It is easy to assume that the wildlings ended up beyond the Wall because their ancestors chose to worship the Others, and it is certainly a possibility, but not the only one. What if their ancestors had been the captives of the Others and taken to the Far North for whatever purpose, and perhaps they only managed to free themselves well after the Long Night had ended, and by that time there was a huge Wall built across the continent, so they were stuck north of the Wall? This could be a (by now forgotten) reason why they call themselves the "Free Folk". It is even possible that another group remained the Others' slaves - the not so free folk - who have also been forgotten by now even by the free folk beyond the Wall. There are several possibilities regarding their history and their relationship with the Others. That's totally reasonable to expect. Some of them will fight, some will not. Some will integrate into the North more easily, and some will cause trouble. But the people born south of the Wall will be the same. Some of them will fight against the Others, while some will flee. Some of them will help their fellow humans to survive, and some will take advantage of their fellow humans' tragedy. As for whether the wildlings would want to stick to the Gift, it is a legitimate concern, especially in times of peace (Jon demands hostages from the families to make them more likely to stick with their end of the agreement), but right now, the other option could well be that they all arrive as wights, and that would not be in anyone's interest. At least some of the wildlings will probably give up their wildling lifestyle quite happily when they can have a plot of land to call their own (if only for the total novelty of this lifestyle), but before that, spring / summer needs to come. In the meantime, the not so docile can make themselves useful as warriors.
  8. Yes and no. The Wall and the NW belong together, but the Wall is an object and a sort of man-made landmark, a means of defence, while the NW consists of living, feeling and thinking people. If the Others are magically transformed people... But who transforms them? Perhaps they are victims of a power above them, but I don't see any indication of that for the time being. The fate of Craster's sons is rather obscure. There must be a reason why they are called "the Others" and why their preferred environment is one where human life is impossible. They are not mentioned in the vows, but the Wall was built against them, and the NW was established to provide protection against them. Doesn't Craster eat and drink to stay alive? If he can feed on ice, is not bothered by extreme cold and needs no sunlight, then maybe. But I doubt it. His strategy is one where he sacrifices the future for momentary respite. Ygritte calls him cursed and says he is more like the crows than the wildlings, so it is not likely that what Craster does is typical of wildlings. They would have already died out if sacrificing all their male children to the Others had been their norm. If there was a group that did the sacrifice Craster-style, it is very probable that the current wildlings are largely not their descendants. We know very little of their history. But we do have the bit where Northerners and wildlings (early on) did cooperate, and it was against the Night's King. We would hardly have this bit of their history if the author wanted to present them as worshippers of the Others. Well, the idea was to settle them on the Gift and to populate the NW castles with them, no to send them to the Reach. It is totally fair to expect them to help with the fight against the Others.
  9. The Wall, naturally, cannot protect the people living north of it from the Others. No one is arguing that. However, when these people seek refuge south of the Wall, it is the right thing to grant them this refuge. In this respect, it is relevant that the purpose of the Night's Watch is to protect humanity. Thwarting the Long Night is in the interest of all people, even those who live north of the Wall. We do not know how and why the wildlings originally ended up on the wrong side of the Wall, but the present ones were simply born there, so they can hardly be blamed for whatever sins their ancestors committed, if it was indeed a sin (which is by no means certain) that caused them to stay there. The author shows us that they are definitely human and not so different from those living south of the Wall. Judging them by Craster would be like judging the entire Seven Kingdoms by Ramsay Bolton.
  10. Often, yet, in our real world, there are languages that are spoken in several countries, and the religion may also be the same or similar, yet the people define themselves in accordance with their respective countries as different nations (with common origin). Anyway... do you want to say Northerners and wildlings are the same nation / ethnic group still? And yet you wonder why the wildlings should be united with the Northerners in this critical situation? Not quite. The Old Tongue was the language of all First Men. That includes the ancestors of wildlings and Northerners. The same original language due to their shared historical origin. Later, yes, the Northerners have adopted a new language, of indeed different origin. That (some groups of) the wildlings have also learned or adopted this other language is the result of continued interactions. So GRRM gave them the same language twice: first their common ancestral language (as one ethnic group), then the same adopted language because communication continued between them despite the divergent political development. For a long time, but not always. They weren't always divided by cultural differences (or by a Wall). Yet, this support has not been coming for a while, no matter how nicely neutral letters were sent out by Maester Aemon asking for help in their hour of need. Until Stannis arrived. No, it isn't, because it is defence against a magical, non-human enemy. Conscripts? Today it is more like convicts in a prison camp. But it wasn't always like this, otherwise it wouldn't be still an honourable option for the son of a nobleman to join voluntarily. True. I wonder if it is really "the most common" one - we mostly meet the wildlings who live relatively close to the Wall, so I'm not sure, but it could be. The in-world history is that the wildlings and the Northerners (who have already adopted the Andal language) have always lived close to each other, and they are not actually isolated, despite the Wall. It is the nature of humans that they want to communicate with each other. The NW is concerned with the raiders only, but besides raiders there can be trade and marriage among ordinary smallfolk, there could be occasional refugees who cross the Wall to avoid their overlord's justice and so on. Obviously, the free folk could only learn the Andal language from the Northerners (unless there were Andal groups arriving in the lands north of the Wall by sea) - which means that the communication / intermarriage between them was intensive. There is nothing unrealistic about that. Even the NW recruits who follow the Old Gods religion go north of the Wall to take their NW vows, and no one finds it strange. They have been at war, but wars can be ended, and former enemies can become allies, especially when it is in their mutual interest. They belong to their own realm, as well as to the realms of men. Craster chooses not to be defended by anyone because he has his own pact with the Others. The wildlings who are admitted into the Seven Kingdoms choose to be reunited with the Northerners and to enjoy the protection of the Wall. Many of them volunteer to help defend the Wall as well. With the Others though, the Long Night comes, and it affects the whole world, it does not stop at the borders of any realm. So stopping a global natural disaster would be a better analogy. Yes, that's what we have heard. It does not mean that they cannot have some other motivation as well. No, the NW has its post on the Wall and protects humanity there. More meaningful than you think. It directly pertains to one of the main themes of the novels. The lone wolf dies, the pack survives. All humanity is one pack, wars bring suffering and stop people from noticing the global danger. The Wall that divides them didn't always exist. Not any kind of a villain. And it is made entirely clear several times that the priorities of the NW as an institution are not what they should be. Not a version of Jaime, but in some ways his opposite. Jaime joined the NW for the wrong reason and never meant to give up what was personally the most important thing to him (sex with Cersei). Jon, on the other hand, sacrificed his love for Ygritte, his love of his family, of Winterfell, and found the purpose of his life - to protect the realms of men. Jaime only found nihilism, because he had basically joined the wrong organization, whose purpose was to keep a madman on the IT with absolute power over other people's lives. Therefore Jaime came to despise all oaths. His ultimate oathbreaking is an example of a situation where keeping an oath is arguably not the right thing to do. He betrayed Aerys out of a moral necessity. Unfortunately, he also betrayed Robert out of lust. Yet, he remained in the Kingsguard even when he could have left it despite having no illusion about the organization. Recently, there are signs that he is sorting out the meaning of oathkeeping and true commitment (to something other than one's own pleasure). Oathkeeping has its place among human values, but it is not the single most important one. Automatic, unconditional oathkeeping can be a selfish and morally coward thing to do. Jon has never denied the value of oathkeeping, yet, he is not a slave to his oath. We have never been told why the wildlings are north of the Wall, but it would be rather wrong to imply some collective guilt in connection with that. What we do know is that the wildlings have rejected the "kneeler" lifestyle and social structure, and it is very probable that they have preserved a more ancient way of living, which may have characterized the whole North once. They have not always supported the NW, but the historical event when the King of Winter and the King-beyond-the-Wall joined forces to free the Watch from the bondage imposed on them by the Night's King has not made it into the books by accident.
  11. What do you all think of this quote? Rowan is a spearwife from beyond the Wall, a wildling. Yet, she does not only know the Stark words, but she also feels such respect for "Lord Eddard's words" that she doesn't think Theon, after what he did, has the right to even say those words.
  12. That's perfectly possible, especially given that Stannis is the boss. And he was certainly active when he fathered the shadow assassin that killed his brother. All right then. Melisandre implies that Stannis agreed to the decision to keep Mance alive. Otherwise she does not need to mention Stannis at all. She could say she was convinced by Jon, but no. She says Stannis does not go against the law, but guess what, the law ends at the Wall. Logically, the latter argument is only needed when someone does not want to go against the law. Now, this is said by someone that Jon knows is the number one advisor to Stannis. Jon also knows that Stannis himself is aware of how much Mance knows of the true enemy. Let's look at the conversation between Stannis and Jon: In this exchange, Stannis is unhappy about the conundrum of having to kill - in order to uphold the law - such a useful source of information. He knows that going against the law may backfire (others may be encouraged to desert) - and this is where Jon mentions that curious argument about the law ending at the Wall. Stannis also indicates though that he has two further practical reasons to burn Mance (Stannis is a pragmatic person): On the one hand, he wants to make an example of him for the North to see. Note that he does not say he wants to warn the NW but that "the north will see" how he deals with traitors and turncloaks - he is obviously thinking of his war to win Westeros rather than the rules of the NW. On the other hand, he says burning Mance will make Mance's son king, and we know what the plan is with the baby at this point. The goal of making an example of Mance is perfectly achieved by burning the fake Mance. At the same time, the law is upheld to all appearances - so would-be deserters are warned. The kingsblood goal has obviously ceased to be a goal since Melisandre is absolutely on board with letting Mance live. For some reason, she has apparently changed her mind about Mance's value as kingsblood; and since she is the red witch, Stannis probably does not argue with her on matters of magic. Therefore, burning the fake Mance has become enough to satisfy the practical goal, while keeping Mance alive means his knowledge of the Others can still be obtained - another practical consideration. Stannis knows there is going to be another war, and he clearly is ready to deploy almost any weapon and use any resources to secure victory. One more curious detail that may suggest (to me as well as to Jon Snow) that Mance knows who "Rattleshirt" is: Jon is disgusted with this "gift", and the idea of giving Jon Rattleshirt out of all the wildlings when he has asked for "men" sounds very much like blatantly mocking him. After all, he has told Stannis before what he thinks of Rattleshirt: Why would Stannis mock Jon by giving him such a worthless gift? It is rather puzzling (Jon is certainly perplexed), but Stannis knowing that "Rattleshirt" is really Mance explains it all, after all Jon did plead with Stannis for Mance's life, so the real "gift" in this case is granting Jon his wish and giving the man himself into Jon's service. This is very much like the Stannis who both punished and rewarded the Onion Knight at the same time. He gives Jon, as a gift, something Jon has asked for, a kind of double-edged sword to deal with, which is both a reward and a punishment - reward for giving Stannis sage and sincere advice but punishment for supporting the cause of a deserter, and Stannis even tells Jon to be content with this gift. To sum up, there are several reasons to suggest (both to Jon and the reader) that Stannis was on board with replacing Mance with Rattleshirt at the stake. It is also quite likely that the order was that the man's true identity was not to be revealed to Jon while Stannis was still in Castle Black. In this way, Stannis publicly upheld the law, made an example of "Mance", warned his enemies, and then gifted the surviving, real Mance, all his skills and knowledge as well as all future responsibility for him to Jon Snow.
  13. Some really cool observations in that post! Regarding the "white sister" idea, it was @bemused who suggested years ago that Val and Dalla - their joint names being reminiscent of Valhalla - could be sisters not by blood but by belonging to the same order of women practised in some kind of magic. Mance describes Dalla as wise, and she warns Jon about the use of sorcery. Val clearly has some special knowledge, and her white clothes were given to her by Dalla. I agree that there must have been some sort of communication (other than raiding) between wildlings and Northerners living close to the Wall through all these years. Somehow some of the wildlings learned the Common Tongue, after all. Some sort of trade may exist, and also, when someone gets into trouble with the law or the local lord, and does not fancy ending up on the Wall, crossing the Wall nearby can easily be an option. Marriage probably also happens sometimes.
  14. And his descendant, the Greatjon will do it again!
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