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Julia H.

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Everything posted by Julia H.

  1. I'm fascinated by Winterfell because of its history, because of all its secrets, because it has a heart tree and gargoyles and hot springs. The hot springs are just fantastic (I imagine they must have medicinal water) and the hot water is used for heating the castle, so it is actually warm inside even when the weather is cold outside. If the seasons can be put right somehow, a few months of winter every year would be beautiful to watch from the windows of a nice, warm room. In the second place, I must choose Greywater Watch, the floating castle. It would be interesting to visit Starfall because of the location and the history.
  2. No, Stannis came because Davos had shown him Maester Aemon's letter and convinced him that a true king would save the realm. Davos saw the magnitude of the problem as soon as he read Aemon's letter, therefore other politicians could have seen it, too. But they were simply too busy. Davos, however, gave Stannis an alternative, more meaningful agenda,which replaced the plan of burning Edric Storm for kingsblood, and the chance to start again after a defeat. As for the danger of tying oneself too closely to one side in a war ... isn't that the problem in so many real-life historical situations where a group or a country must choose since neutrality is impossible? There is no safe option that would guarantee the survival of the NW in all possible scenarios. I don't know what you mean here, I certainly haven't speculated on anything like that, nor did I even watch the show.
  3. Aren't they an ignorant bunch? We, however, know that orders can be against the law. To me it seems that Ned takes his own decisions and realizes that he is responsible for them. Actually, I think that's one of the major themes of the character. But I also wish he spared Gared. And who knows what was in Gared's eyes... The Others may have done something to the mind or the soul, and Ned is not a psychologist. But we were comparing Ramsay and Ned. Gared's death is unfortunate but Ned does act in good faith, whereas Ramsay ... anything but. To address what Jon knows, since you mentioned it... He does not know that Ramsay's marriage is not legal though he has an idea of what "Arya" may suffer- and it's definitely not normal for a wife to be tortured by a husband even in Westeros. (It may happen and nobody may stop it, but I don't think it is regarded as normal.) But the information Jon acts on is that "Arya" has already left Winterfell and is riding towards Castle Black - dying horse, hunger, dangers of the road etc. Surely, in the case of a normal marriage, what lord would object to his brother-in-law wanting to save his wife's life? Jon may not act in the knowledge that Ramsay's supposed wife is not a real wife in any sense of the word, but he does act in the (albeit mistaken) knowledge that she is already out of her husband's "protection" (or whatever we want to call it) and is in immediate danger. Which is one of the reasons why his actions cannot be compared to Ned's. Because he still believes in his duty as a black brother and a Lord Commander. But I guess he will give up on the Watch when he sees it as a necessary step towards organizing the protection of the realm. I think Jon may reach the point where, ironically, he will be ready to give up the vows and all the rules that go with it in order to better fulfil his vocation and to protect the realms of men. LOL.
  4. It could be (provided Gared were phyiscally able to make that revelation) - but Ned acted on the information he had and on the law that he knew. Lorch was following an order, not the law. The order, however, violated the principle of NW neutrality, which is a sign that this neutrality is not taken seriously by the royal court, and the NW should draw the conclusions. The order also targeted a boy who had done nothing wrong. That is very different from what Ned did with an obvious lawbreaker. And Ned was taking full responsibility for his verdicts, which is another reason why the comparison with Lorch does not hold. Lorch was a paid executioner not interested in whether the order he was following was just, while Ned himself made the decision that he thought was best for the country. The "wife" was definitely not kidnapped but ran away and was happy enough to do it - and for very understandable reasons. Wanting back one's wife is one thing, using the wrong sort of means is another. Ramsay did not only want his "wife" back, he also demanded a number of totally innocent people (including a baby) to be handed over to him, and was threatening the whole of an institution collectively - how is that comparable to Ned executing a single deserter? We also know that Jeyne was nothing but a slave and her marriage was not legal - after all, she had been forced to marry under a false name. It means Ramsay was not her legal husband (he had never married "Jeyne") any more than Jorah had been the husband of the poachers he had sold, so what right did Ramsay have to demand her back besides the "right" of a slave-owner? That's basically the interpretation of those who argue that Jon should have waited for Ramsay to flay the whole Watch if he so pleased. I think the neutrality was something that used to be invented to ensure the peaceful alliance between the Watch and the lords of the realm. In the current situation, I don't see how submission to one kind of power (e.g. the Boltons) at the expense of another kind of power (cf. handing over Stannis's family) is "neutral". So, no. Submission is unconditional, the neutrality principle can only be based on reciprocity. Well, what can a poor husband do? It was all the wife's fault. It is known. The Watch currently does not have the stength or the resources it was originally meant to have. That's one problem. Most players in the realm do not recognize the importance of protecting the Northern border any longer. That's another problem. The situation has changed and the old solutions are not working any more. The status of the Watch is not what is should be. King Stannis does not save the realm just for the sake of saving the realm, he wants to be recognized as the one true king. So the help he gives the NW is essentially a mercenary one. Yet, Jon has to realize that no other king or lord is going to offer a better deal to help the Watch.
  5. All right, I see. I just don't think that Ned performing this act of justice in the land that he rules is a good example. Well, that's the way of kings in connection with everyone. Makes for a very good read. Maybe, but I don't really think Benjen goes to Winterfell without signing out. He has duties in CB and he cannot just disappear without letting the LC know or without leaving someone in charge of the rangers. I imagine it's not too difficult for him to get a permission to visit the family though. The Starks have had special relations with the Watch for thousands of years, and he probably uses his influence with Ned to promote the interests of the Watch. That's a possibility. If you are arguing against the death penalty, I totally agree. But no one in ASOIAF, not even Mormont, is enlightened enough to start a campaign to abolish it. Maybe there isn't. But Mormont dies thinking of his son, I can't believe he does not think of him every day while he lives. "The poor boy committed a crime, but it wasn't really his fault, was it? So who am I, in charge of these poor youngsters not to pardon their transgressions?" Something like this. Or not. There is absolutely no correlation between Ned and Lorch or Ramsay. Ned executed a deserter, someone who had already removed himself from the NW and happened to be captured in Northern territory. Lorch attacked a group of watchmen who were on their way to the Wall in totally legal business. Ramsay is threatening the Watch. It was Joffrey who didn't care, and with this, he broke the law and started a conflict that neither Cersei nor Tywin had intended. The original idea must have been that both needed the other one.
  6. But Ned doesn't know this. Surely, you don't think that he wanted to hinder the NW's fight against Armageddon on purpose. Ned believes that the Others either are dead or never existed. He has no idea that Gared has some invaluable secret knowledge. Subjects of the king also have political and leagal and trade etc. relationships with each other, with which they have an influence over each other. Yes, the hormons count in the sense that they designate the boundaries of the youngsters' nightly excursions and Mormont allowed the same distance to Jon as to veryone else even though he was riding away for a different reasons. Fair enough, I think. In addition, I guess there is also a requirement that the boys must return in time to report for duty, which Jon also did. Of course, we can only guess what Mormont would have done if Jon had been caught south of Moles Town (I think opinions differ). We do know that he would have been in danger south of the NW territory even if Mormont's men had let him go. However, Jon did return in time. Gared may be too valuable for Mormont to kill, Jon may be too valuable for Mormont to kill, and it is also possible that Mormont is generally lenient because he thinks of his own son's crime. But that's only guesswork. Sorry, I don't quite understand what you mean here. In any case, Ned was acting within his rights and within the law and with no knowledge that his action would hurt the NW. (Even we cannot be sure of that - it is totally possible that Gared would never have been able to give meaningful information about the Others.) Legally, the offender here is the deserter. I think the way it works is that black brothers are "dead to the world" and under the jurisdiction of the LC only, but when they desert, they leave behind both their duties and the protection that goes with being a black brother, and they are under the jurisdiction of the lord of the area where they happen to be. This works in the opposite direction as well: Any many who is being punished for a crime anywhere in Westeros can volunteer to join the NW and from that moment on, his crimes are pardoned and the punishment is cancelled, because he belongs to the NW. You know, the way I imagine the neutrality principle to have worked is this: There is a strong army with border guard duties against a dangerous foe. This army must not take part in any fights of the realm and must not represent a danger to the realm but must always guard the realm against the enemy fromt he North. In exchange, nobody will attack this army from the realm and nobody will try to involve them in internal conflicts, what is more, they can count on support from the various lords in their fight against the common foe. This works because it is in the interest of the whole realm that the border should be defended and everyone is aware of that. Therefore the men in the NW are willing to give up even their personal loyalties because the protection of the realm is all important, and they know it. There was probably a time when it worked like this. But not any longer. The realm is at war, the current NW is a tiny group of soldiers in comparison with the armies of the lords, and very few people in the realm recognize the importance of their duty or respect them for their sacrifice. Yet, the danger to the realm is very real but they are not strong enough and do not get any disinterested support any longer. In this context, neutrality is the last of their concerns - knowing the impending danger, the LC will ally with the wildlings and with anyone else willing to help to protect the realm, and it is not the LC's fault that the help does not come free. In this context, that the LC is willing to fight anyone who threatens the NW from whichever direction is only fair and reasonable.
  7. How? Sure, there will be interactions, influences, even disagreements. But that's true of relationships between any two (or more) realms. I agree that Mormont would have spared Gared's life. He would have made a different decision than Ned. But then again, if Gared had been found in NW territory, the desertion would not have been so blantantly obvious. Jon was pardoned precisely because he had returned (and had not gone beyond the designated limit), not because of the hormons. Also, Mormont would have recognized that Gared had changed and that something extraordinary must have happened to him beyond the Wall and would have wanted to know what it was. At the time, he was already picking up the suspicious signs about the Others. Ned, however, found an obvious deserter and lawbreaker in the land which he ruled, saw no mitigating circumstances and acted within his rights and duties and in accordance with the law (desertion is a crime) recognized by the NW as well. They may disagree but that does not mean they are right. Of course, those with fire and steel will bend and interpret every law to suit them best, which is exactly why laws don't work in this world. But readers at least can see the absurdity of demanding neutrality when one is surrounded by enemies.
  8. He did that. Which is exactly the problem. Now we need a hero to save the NW from Bowen Marsh.
  9. That's two things I've been wondering, too. The first one may be easier, perhaps wandering crows are few and they are well-known in Winterfell, as they visit the castle quite openly on their way south (as Yoren does). They may also carry a letter from the LC. Gared was probably behaving like a deserter, hiding and fleeing. It is never mentioned that NW members get paid, yet they do go to Moles Town. Perhaps they get a few coins now and then, not necessarily regularly but as a reward. Alternatively, they may not pay with coins but with goods. They may hunt on their way to Moles Town, gather the eggs of wild birds or perhaps save some food from their own dinner. Who knows how desperate the situation in Moles Town can be... Also, rangers may have some chance to obtain things beyond the Wall - granted, there isn't much there, but the wildlings raid the North, and some of the stolen goods may end up with the rangers and perhaps eventually in Moles Town.
  10. I'm not totally sure about the timeline but I believe the Boltons weren't yet physically established in Winterfell at the time of the LC election. The "wordly-wise" of the watchmen were looking to the Lannisters for whatever advantages they hoped to get. The rise of the Boltons took some time to sink in.
  11. Ned executed Gared because Gared had broken the law and was found in Northern territory and Ned was responsible for guarding law and order in the North. That does not mean the Watch has no say in their own affairs. (And I think had Gared been caught in NW territory and taken to Mormont, the LC would have had the final word about him even if Ned had just happened to be visiting in Castle Black.) No one has defined what exactly they mean by NW neutrality. It makes sense that they should not get involved in the quarrels of various lords or become sellswords. But why wouldn't the NW have the right to make decisons regarding their own affairs? Neither Mormont, nor Aemon thought it was against the rules to ask the various lords / kings to come and help against the wildlings - so when one lord (king) arrives in the middle of the battle and brings help, should the watchmen really say "go back, the Watch takes no part"? It would be ridiculous - the Watch has the right to handle its own affairs and look after its own needs and is not obliged to remain neutral to the point of idiocy.
  12. Well, yes, Roose probably had or would have had different plans for Jon if he had found the time to deal with him. The Pink Letter is Ramsay-style. I don't think anyone on page speculates about what the Boltons think of Jon. But then the average person does not seem to know that Ramsay's wife is not a real Stark - the Boltons, however, know that they could be exposed as fraud. And who is in a better position to discover the deception than Jon? Also, the average outsider does not think that a bastard serving on the Wall should normally be regarded as a legal threat to the lord in the castle, but again, the Boltons know how weak their claim is, how unpopular they are and, well, things may change, so, from their viewpoint, when it is about their own skin, you just never know, Jon is a danger in more ways than one. In the novel, we do see examples that hint at Jon being regarded by some as the current Stark. Therefore, it is logical that the Boltons will sooner or later find the time to eliminate this danger. It is, after all, nothing compared to the practical need of eliminating one's own siblings.
  13. This is absolutely true. However, it is still rather predictable that Jon is and will be a problem for the Boltons no matter what he does or does not do - and we know how they deal with problems. As Alys Karstark says, Jon is "the last living son" of Eddard Stark. Bastard or not, watchman or not, he is regarded or can be regarded as the last Stark and therefore his existence is a risk that the Boltons do not want to put up with.
  14. The concept of neutrality was invented to prevent the NW - at the time probably a strong military force - from starting its private military enterprise within the realm and to keep it focused on the border guard task. That was it. No one has ever said that the Watch cannot handle its own affairs or that the Lord Commander cannot take a step this way or that way for fear of breaking the famous neutrality. If you always think about how you should not do anything that might be taken amiss by someone but keep up an infinitely neutral position, you will end up doing nothing - certainly not defending a realm or taking responsible decisions. Jon is clearly working towards the goal of strengthening the realm's defences, whereas Marsh mainly worries about staying in the good books of the powers that be at whatever cost. How politically neautral Marsh remains in the process everybody can decide for themselves, but it is not the neutrality that he insists on. He sometimes reminds me of little Rhaenys, who hid under her daddy's bed hoping that the cruel monsters wouldn't find her. But Marsh should know better, because he is not a two-year-old child, and the Watch is clearly not going to be protected or rewarded for "good behaviour". Marsh may think he will kill Jon "for the Watch", but he seems to have totally forgotten that the Watch exists "for" something, and that something is the real purpose, not the daydream of comfortably staying out of trouble, which is right now rather impossible anyway.
  15. That's a very good point. Rhaegar in Jaime's dream specifically reminded Jaime that he had left his family (wife and kids) in Jaime's care. While Jaime does not seem to regret killing Aerys, failing to protect Rhaegar's children has left him with a sense of guilt. So, having to choose once more between his own family and Rhagear's child could be a conflict of the heart - a chance to "replay" and change a situation he regrets, on the one hand, but with the complication that now he has kids of his own, sort of, on the other hand - so what will be more important, the personal debt he owes to Rhaegar's memory or his duty towards his own innocent children? However, this can happen only if he believes that Aegon is the real prince. There will be no dilemma if he thinks Aegon is a Blackfyre or even a Targaryen but not Rhaegar's son. (Alternatively, the same conflict may come up in connection with Jon, which would be interesting in another way, because Jaime would have to regard Jon not only as a Targaryen but also as a Stark.)
  16. The girl who was saved by Mance and Co may have been called a wife, but in actual reality she was a slave, sold by Littlefinger and bought by the Boltons, tortured and used as chattel. That should be pretty clear to everyone who is really against slavery. Sure, and especially when acting on the information that said little girl had already left the Bolton household and was in immediate mortal danger. Which makes me wonder if social justice is really so important for these readers or if their purpose is simply to agree with everything a certain character does and to criticize everything a certain other character does.
  17. Well, maybe this shows the conspirators are a small group and so secretly following a wildling army to get near Jon does not seem to be a good option for them. And perhaps they didn't want to bump into Ramsay's army. (Jon wasn't necessarily expecting to ride all the way to Winterfell to meet Ramsay. The threats made in the Pink Letter could only be fulfilled if Ramsay was riding to CB with an army.) But, if the decision was really hastily made, they may not have decided on the best option they had.
  18. Regarding Bowen's survival chances, let me just mention that there is an enraged giant right on the spot whose life had been saved by Jon. As for whether the assassination was planned, I think the theory that the conspirators, who had already been plotting to kill Jon, were forced to hastily make a new plan because of Jon's sudden change of plan is a very convincing theory. What they were doing was not the original plan, and they probably couldn't take proper steps to ensure their own safety afterwards.
  19. Well, he managed to start a civil war and "disorder" in the whole realm as well as discord and disaster in his immediate family. Of course, he shouldn't allow his son "to be taken at will by another great house". But the attack on the Riverlands was not his only option.
  20. Still on the principle of neutrality. There are no guidelines that we know of (and why would there be any in Westeros?) that explain what NW neutrality means and how far it extends in different scenarios. Imagine there are two lords fighting against each other over a plot of land or due to some offense one committed against the other. The Night's Watch will stay neutral, it is not their conflict, they'll just continue guarding the Wall. Now, what if a lord of the realm turns into a total villain, destroys the King's peace, starts looting and killing all over the realm, challenges the authority of the King and brings general death and destruction to the realm? It is still not the Night Watch's duty to put things right, they'll just continue guarding the Wall. Yet, there might be a difference when the lords in these two examples show up in Castle Black. I think in the first case, there is no reason why either of the warring lords could not be a respected guest of the Night's Watch in the name of the neutrality and earlier good relations. The lord in the second example though might be considered an outlaw. At least I wonder if the neutrality extends to such cases as well. Perhaps so, perhaps not. In the absence of clear guidelines, it would be left to the Lord Commander's decision whether he regards this lord as a guest or as a potentially dangerous enemy (which would need to be decided before the visiting lord reaches Castle Black). And, of course, whatever he would decide, someone else could challenge this decision in the name of one law or the other. And then, what should the guidelines be when the conflict somehow endangers the normal functioning of the still neutral Night's Watch? (Let's say the warring parties fight a battle on NW territory and, as a result, the NW hunting grounds burn down.) How far can that be tolerated? (I know that Castle Black is not defensible from the South, what I'm exploring here is what the principles and theoretical limits of neutrality could be.) There is also the ultimate problem where the Watch is attacked by one of the lords (for example, after the other lord has been a guest of the NW in the name of the neutrality). Yet another possible scenario is a situation of total chaos and anarchy. Even in this case, the NW should still guard the Northern border of the realm, but can they remain truly unaffected by such a situation? And does the spirit of their profession allow them to just watch the Wall whatever happens instead of trying to organize the country behind them - if for no other reason then to facilitate the protection of the realm? What seems to be the most reasonable principle, regarding NW neutrality, is that the protection of the realm is their first priority, and they must do whatever needs to be done to protect the realm, ignoring conflicts that do not affect their defence potential, while any conflict that affects their ability to protect the realm is their concern and needs to be dealt with accordingly. The pertinent decisions are primarily the responsibility of the LC. As things stand though, guidelines do not exist, and the exact meaning or scope of the neutrality is undefined. Therefore everyone can have their own interpretation, and these interpretations will differ. The decision-making, however, still belongs to the LC.
  21. 8000 years is a very long time. (In our world, the pyramid of Giza was built about 4500 years ago.) I think pretty much anything that can physically happen in the current world must have happened before, in the course of those millennia. I looked at the wiki and counted the pre-conquest Starks listed there - 25 names altogether, and it's a royal family! That's practically nothing. The Watch may have most of its Lord Commanders listed in its chronicles, but how much is known about the historical events associated with each of them? It is pretty safe to assume that most of the history of those 8000 years has been lost to the people of Westeros or, at least, we readers have been acquainted with only the tiniest portion of it. So, a lot must have happened in history that we don't know about (and I think it's fine). What I don't understand is how people (in-world and others) can totally reject the idea that it may be impossible to absolutely live by rules that were established thousands of years ago. The world changes and at least some adaptation to the new circumstances may be necessary at times. And it's not that such adaptation has not happened before. For example, if the original purpose of the Wall and the Watch was indeed to keep out the Others, then the fact that nowadays the wildlings count as the number one enemy of the Watch implies that there was a shift in the purpose of the Watch - probably at a time when the Others had not been seen for a long time, but the wildlings were already causing problems. Now the Others are returning, which means the situation has changed again (perhaps time is a wheel in Westeros), so it makes sense to adapt again and find common cause with the wildlings because an eternal winter is not in the interest of any humans. As for neutrality, a given political entity can be neutral only as long as all parties (players) agree on and respect its neutral status. Perhaps there was a time - a specific political situation - when NW neutrality was both possible and desirable. Right now, it is not so. A lot depends on what different parties mean by neutrality. There is a conflict, you don't do anything. Fine, as long as the conflict is far away from you. But what if you find one of the warring kings in front of your door, wounded by a boar? Should you leave him there to die or should you pick him up and dress his wounds? Whichever you choose, you will have influenced the war.
  22. It seems that Jaime didn't think of this option. (I guess as a Kingsguard Jaime himself might have needed permission from the King to leave King's Landing, but he could have sent some Lannister men at least.) Tywin probably didn't want to involve Jaime in this business though.
  23. Exactly. Some time before the arrival of the Pink Letter, Jon is sitting with Yarwyck and Marsh, asking their counsel on the Hardhome mission. Since Satin is pouring the wine, Jon probably counts as host (he has invited them to the Lord Commander's quarters). Marsh ignores the offered wine, while Yarwyck is happy to drink. This small circumstance is suspicious enough, given the context of guest right. While Marsh couldn't just refuse to obey the Lord Commander's summons, and he may even have wanted to hear what Jon had to say, he could leave the wine untouched, thus subtly making sure that he is not the Lord Commander's guest. And we know very well the significance of entering into a guest-host relationship. I think this can very well be a hint that Marsh at this point is already planning to kill Jon or is arranging his assassination, while Yarwyck may not have made up his mind or is not (yet?) involved in the plot. This is not even the first time the author has pointed out this behaviour. Already in Jon VIII: So Marsh has had a tendency to refuse Jon's food and drink at least for a while (apparently, since about the time when he realized Jon was planning to let Tormund and his wildlings through the gate). Then (again in Jon XIII), when Jon asks their opinion on which men to send to Hardhome, Marsh gives this reply: The tone of this reply is something new. It is not the way anyone in a military organization is supposed to talk to his commander. It is as though Marsh didn't think Jon was going to be commander for long. In the context of his refusal to eat and drink with Jon, this sort of answer strongly indicates that the plotting against Jon had started well before the arrival of the Pink Letter.
  24. 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...
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