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Schmendrick

R + L = Lightbringer -- Updated with Part II

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Cersei dreamt that she was down in the black cells once again, only this time it was her chained to the wall in place of the singer. She was naked, and blood dripped from the tips of her breasts where the Imp had torn off her nipples with his teeth. “Please,” she begged, “please, not my children, do not harm my children.” Tyrion only leered at her. He was naked too, covered with coarse hair that made him look more like a monkey than a man. “You shall see them crowned,” he said, “and you shall see them die.” Then he took her bleeding breast into his mouth and began to suck, and pain sawed through her like a hot knife.



This is a gruesome dream but it also contains the image of the pain of a mother breastfeeding as a hot knife.


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What about the attempts to forge in water and lion? You've kinda just skipped right to Nissa Nissa.

IMO there will be multiple things that fit as Lightbringer by the end so this(or something similar) could be one.

I address the first two attempts to forge Lightbringer in Part II. I think that there is evidence pointing to at least three potential Lightbringers (maybe four) even now. I connect Jon to one of the other potential candidates in Part II. And like I said above, I wouldn't be surprised if there is a literal magical sword at some point, too.

[snip]

Some really interesting quotes. :) Some of those I address in Part II, others I have to give some thought to ....

Nice work, Schmendrick! I admit I'm still far from fully convinced, but then I don't think I will be until the story is over. Too much still hinges on how it all plays out in the end ;)

As for "dangerous" or even "villainous" carriers of flaming swords, I refer you to Surtr - a giant from Norse mythology whose name means "the black one". During Ragnarök, Surtr will lead the forces of fire against the Gods, slaying the fertility god Freyr (heh!) in the process.

Thanks. :) I can't fault anyone for being skeptical. I've left some of the best evidence for the next part (not that I expect everyone to be convinced even then).

Surtr, and his role in Ragnarok, is definitely interesting.

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Cersei dreamt that she was down in the black cells once again, only this time it was her chained to the wall in place of the singer. She was naked, and blood dripped from the tips of her breasts where the Imp had torn off her nipples with his teeth. “Please,” she begged, “please, not my children, do not harm my children.” Tyrion only leered at her. He was naked too, covered with coarse hair that made him look more like a monkey than a man. “You shall see them crowned,” he said, “and you shall see them die.” Then he took her bleeding breast into his mouth and began to suck, and pain sawed through her like a hot knife.

This is a gruesome dream but it also contains the image of the pain of a mother breastfeeding as a hot knife.

And it can also relate to Maggy the Frog's prophecy, but that's another story entirely.

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I think it's an interesting theory and you've certainly accumulated some evidence in favor of it. While I think it's possible, I'm not quite convinced.

1) The fact Lightbringer is described as the Red Sword isn't adequately answered by your theory. I just don't see it being nicknamed as such unless it was more of a permanent feature of whatever Lightbringer was supposed to represent and not just an aspect of it as a newborn that would immediately get washed off as you said in reference to the blood. Maybe if Jon is brought back as a fire zombie or something and is running around in flames lol. Maybe it's even supposed to be Mel for all we know.

2) I believe Aemon and possibly other characters exclaim Lighbringer glows. I know Jon has been described as pale, but to the point he's glowing or that would be a major distinguishing feature when there is an albino in the story(Bloodraven) and Mel who is described in more this fashion? Perhaps it's a metaphor and the character is supposed to just get rid of whatever is causing the darkness(Others) and light the way, but I think at this point that is too vague of a metaphor that can fit too many potential people in too many situations.

3) The Stranger statue representing Jon also seems problematic. If his whole deal as Lightbringer is to save mankind from the Others and the undead, wouldn't this mean he is more of a device to prevent death by stopping these things that would cause so much? It also doesn't make sense in reference to the other statues and the way the symbolism seems inconsistent.

4) A lot of this can be applied to Dany and possibly other characters as well. Dany's father and mother are both dead with Aerys having died before Rhaella. Dany has already established a pretty strong relationship with fire thus far so much so she had a period when she was immune to being burned and birthed fire breathing creatures. She is also from a King's line. Maybe Drogon is even Lightbringer with its father being dead already(Drago) and maybe Dany will be killed by Victarion with the one Mqorro hand withering away over time so he's the stranger in this instance and Drago was the warrior and Dany the maiden prior to them meeting.

5) The statues being used as evidence is also problematic to me, but it may be more to do with my opinion of Martin's over-use of symbolism. Grrm has stated there's to be no direct interference from any of the purported dieties on Planetos. I find it hard to fathom how the statues could burn in the significant way to depict the AA prophecy by chance without some sort of intervention by a diety unless I missed it being stated somewhere that Mel saw a vision depicting this scene and set it all up to specifically mirror that vision. Perhaps there is no symbolism to be taken from it, but it really seems like the way it was described it is pointing to something significant. I don't know of any magic described so far that could make this occur in such a fashion without divine intervention. So I guess what I mean is, either there is no symbolism regarding AA/lightbringer to be taken from this or I think Martin kind of used symbolism in a way that doesn't adhere to the principles of this planet that have been introduced as of yet.

1) I also mention God's Red Hand of vengeance as another potential link. I think it's called the "Red Sword" because of the heat and light (and fire?) it emits in the legends. But look at Stannis' sword. Mel and company have no problem claiming that is Lightbringer, despite it not being exclusively red (it glows yellow, orange, red). I hate to keep doing this, but I tie Jon to fire (and thus red) a lot more in Part II. I haven't touched on the best evidence for the sword being a "red sword" yet.

2) I address this is Part II as well. The light in Jon's case is metaphorical. Sorry to keep referencing the half I haven't posted yet. :p

3) A sword is both life and death:

“And yet he is no one,” Varys said. “He has neither crown nor gold nor favor of the gods, only a piece of pointed steel.”

That piece of steel is the power of life and death.”

ACoK, Tyrion (Apologies for not providing a full cite, I'm having some trouble with my e-book.)

I think Jon has the potential to be one or the other or a combination of both, depending on his choices. As to the symbolism, can you be more specific? I'm not sure what you mean, there.

4) Dany (and Drogon) are definitely connected to this. That's another thing I address in (I know, I know) Part II.

5) I never suggested that some sort of magic caused the statues to burn the way they did, or fall the way they did. That's purely a literary trick, not a magical one.

I just want to stress though I think you did a fantastic job presenting in book evidence along with meta textual stuff concerning the symbolism and you could very well be right, I just don't think there is enough concrete evidence given to us yet for me to be that conclusive about this.

Thanks :)

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[snip]

Thanks! I definitely think the NW oath and the passage about the sword with no hilt are connected. I address these in Part II also.

Another clue in support of this theory is that Jon's story arc may be following the story arc of a magical sword from Norse mythology, Gram.

In Norse mythology, the sword Gram was forged by Wayland the Smith. Odin took the sword and stuck it into the tree Barnstokkr during a banquet in a King's hall. Odin told the assembled that whoever could pull the sword out would possess the sword. The only person who was able to pull the sword out was Sigmund (probably an inspiration for the Excalibur mythos).

However, during a battle Sigmund broke the sword against the spear of a soldier in a black hooded cloak. Sigmund gave the broken pieces to his wife, so it may later be reforged for their unborn son. The sword was reforged by the dwarf Regin, and once reforged was able to "cleave an anvil in twain". Sigmund's son, Sigurd, later used the sword to kill the dragon, Fafnir (originally a dwarf who was transformed into a dragon through his greed).

Likewise, after the King's banquet at Winterfell, Jon Snow was sent to the Wall. At the wall his primary tutor and role model becomes the smith, Donal Noye. Here we have the image of Jon being "forged" by a smith.

Then Lord Commander Mormont (like Odin associated with a Raven) makes Jon pledge to him that he will hold to his Night's Watch vows and take no part in the wars of men, thus he plays the part of Odin by symbolically imprisoning Jon into the Wall (as opposed to Barnstokkr) where other Lords are unable to make use of him.

I think Stannis plays the part of Sigmund (especially if Stannis is the one who sent the "pink letter" as some other posters have theorized) who is able to get Jon to break his vows and gets the NIghtswatch ready to march on Winterfell. However Jon is then symbolically "broken" against the spear of a black cloaked soldier, in that members of the NIght's Watch stab him to death (apparently).

What I think is going to happen is in the next book we will see that Jon has literally been split into two. My guess is he "warged" into Ghost right before his death. Further I believe that Melisandre will resurrect Jon's body. So we will have Jon/Ghost and we will have undead Jon both existing at the same time. Jon will be reforged when these two beings are reunited leading to Jon 2.0.

That's a fantastic connection. I think that Gram is one of the big inspirations for Lightbringer. There's also the fact that Regin (in many versions of the story) forged two lesser swords before reforging Gram on the third go, so three attempts total, just like Lightbringer. I never considered the Donal Noye connection (for which I am now kicking myself) but it's a great catch.

Really good read and well presented especially the burning of the seven passage. looking forward to part two and three.

Hurry up and get them posted..;-)

Thanks! I'm working on it. :)

No Nissa = moon yet? :P

Part II, my friend. If I keep saying that, I'm worried that people will start throwing rotten cabbages at me. :uhoh:

Another interesting tidbit, if in fact Jon is the son of Rhaegar and Lyanna, then he would be a direct descendant of a Targaryen dynasty that technically started when the Great Council anointed Aegon V as king over his older brothers. Two primary influences of Aegon V (in addition to Duncan the Tall) were his uncle Baelor the breakspear, and his father, Maekar I. What were Baelor and Maekar's nicknames? The hammer and anvil. Another imagery associated with the forging of a sword. Perhaps Jon's "forging" started not just with his birth but instead with the birth and the crowing of his ancestor Aegon V.

That is interesting.

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Great OP, Schmendrick!



I really enjoyed your analysis of the burning of the Seven on Dragonstone. About that, the likely symbolic inclusion of Ned as the Smith, whose head fell off, would seem to support your interpretation of the burning; i.e., that the Seven represent Jon and his parents.



Also from that chapter:


The king plunged into the fire with his teeth clenched, holding the leather cloak before him to keep off the flames. He went straight to the Mother, grasped the sword with his gloved hand, and wrenched it free of the burning wood with a single hard jerk. Then he was retreating, the sword held high, jade-green flames swirling around cherry-red steel. Guards rushed to beat out the cinders that clung to the king’s clothing.


By the time the song was done, only charwood remained of the gods, and the king’s patience had run its course.


The repeated references to burning wood reminds me that later on some wildlings are forced to burn parts of weirwood trees when they come through the Wall, as a sign of their devotion to R'hllor. Which, in turn, reminds me of Lyanna's symbolic connection to weirwood trees via the KotLT and this passage:

He was walking through the crypts beneath Winterfell, as he had walked a thousand times before. The Kings of Winter watched him pass with eyes of ice, and the direwolves at their feet turned their great stone heads and snarled. Last of all, he came to the tomb where his father slept, with Brandon and Lyanna beside him. “Promise me, Ned, “ Lyanna’s statue whispered. She wore a garland of pale blue roses, and her eyes wept blood.
- AGoT, Eddard XIII


Lyanna's eyes wept blood, like the weirwood trees appear to do.



Regarding this part of the OP:

The red woman remained a moment to watch as Devan knelt with Byren Farring and rolled up the burnt and blackened sword in the king’s leather cloak. The Red Sword of Heroes looks a proper mess, thought Davos.


I'm reminded of another Lyanna/blue rose passage:

Ned remembered the way she had smiled then, how tightly her fingers had clutched his as she gave up her hold on life, the rose petals spilling from her palm, dead and black.
- AGoT, Eddard I


I forget whose idea it was originally, but one of us speculated that this might foreshadow Jon's situation at the end of ADwD, where he's at least gravely injured, while being a brother of the NW; aka, black.



So, the rose petals – aka, Jon – turned black. This would work just as well for the description of LB, since Jon is both burned, and again, black.


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And as Jon tells us back in AGoT, black was always [his] color.

Exactly. :thumbsup:

Btw, TPatQ added another layer to that quote, if you consider which side the Blacks are on.

The

Blacks have the true claim, while the Greens usurped the IT. The same pattern is repeated in the BotB where Stannis, the true Baratheon claimant, sails up the Blackwater Bay, only to be thwarted by the Lannisters. Due in part to Tyrion's use of wildfire.

In other words, it would seem to be another hint that Jon is legitimate; i.e., Jon was always the rightful king.

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And you know the part where

Aemond(or was it Daemon?) scratched 13 marks in the Harrenhal weirwood, and until the shadow of his dragon appeared on the 14th day.

Now how do the shadow relates to Jon? He is a shadow of a dragon, as he is clad in all black, and is a member of the Night's Watch.

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I have long been obsessed with the theory that Lightbringer is The Night's Watch, but this theory is also very interesting, and I'm impressed with the amount of work you put into crafting it. I look forward to Part II.

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<snip>

Thanks! And thanks again for your help with the proofreading and whatnot. :) I agree with you about Ned being the Smith and I like the rest of your observations quite a bit. The bit about the black petals is a great catch (whoever caught it).

And you know the part where

.

Now how do the shadow relates to Jon? He is a shadow of a dragon, as he is clad in all black, and is a member of the Night's Watch.

There are some really clever Jon/shadow connections throughout the books. I like the idea of Jon as a dragon's shadow.

I have long been obsessed with the theory that Lightbringer is The Night's Watch, but this theory is also very interesting, and I'm impressed with the amount of work you put into crafting it. I look forward to Part II.

Thanks! I like the NW theory too. I think some of the reasons why the NW makes sense as Lightbringer also apply to Jon individually (and vice versa). The NW vow is a good example of this. I write about the vow (and George's inspiration for it) in Part II. In fact, that's the part I'm working on right now.

Edited to add:

<snip>

Had a bit more time to think over some of what you've written. I really love the Needle/Jon's smile catch. The Stone/crack wording is especially interesting (waking dragons from stone/Nissa Nissa's cry leaving a crack on the face of the moon). And the Arya/Lyanna connection is also a really good one. Lyanna (via Ned's promise to her) hid Jon and his identity just as Arya is hiding the sword. Good stuff.

The eagle (especially the way it wounds Jon) is definitely important. I address that in Part II.

The sorcery/sword without a hilt thing is also really interesting. If you wield sorcery, you're wielding a sword without a hilt. Jon remembers that warning during the conversation with Mel, when she tells him that there is power within him (ADwD, Jon VI). If Jon, as Lightbringer, can wield sorcery ("power"), one imagines that it would be a (metaphorical) flaming sword without a hilt. Of course, if you wield a flaming sword without a hilt, you'd be pretty likely to burn your hand .... I have more to say about this in (sorry*sorry*sorry) Part II.

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Thanks! And thanks again for your help with the proofreading and whatnot. :) I agree with you about Ned being the Smith and I like the rest of your observations quite a bit. The bit about the black petals is a great catch (whoever caught it).

You're welcome. It was my pleasure.

Btw, regarding the burning wood/weirwood + Lyanna/Mother connection I made up thread, I meant to include Jon's refusal to burn the heart tree in the Winterfell godswood.

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Okay I'll be honest.


My first reaction when I started reading this was "Is there really a way to flog this dead horse that still hasn't been tried?"


My second reaction after reading a few paragraphs was "But doesn't this make Rhaegar's ...er...um...member... Lightbringer?"



But I should note that some of the parallels you have put forth have blown my mind. You appear to have crafted a solid theory and I must applaud some of the insights (especially the connection between the Stranger's hand and Jon).


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The legend of Excalibur may have its roots at the Bronze Age sword making. They cast bronze into stone molds and pulled the swords from stone molds after it solidifed.



This is a demonstration.


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Another interesting tidbit, if in fact Jon is the son of Rhaegar and Lyanna, then he would be a direct descendant of a Targaryen dynasty that technically started when the Great Council anointed Aegon V as king over his older brothers. Two primary influences of Aegon V (in addition to Duncan the Tall) were his uncle Baelor the breakspear, and his father, Maekar I. What were Baelor and Maekar's nicknames? The hammer and anvil. Another imagery associated with the forging of a sword. Perhaps Jon's "forging" started not just with his birth but instead with the birth and the crowing of his ancestor Aegon V.

And interestingly enough, Brynden Rivers makes a comment that Aegon V was "born" as a dragon at the tournament of Whitehalls. Whitewalls, which was subsequently torn down and the ground sown with salt.

Aegon V then died at Summerhall, the castle which ended in flames and smoke. The same day that his grandson Rhaegar was born. Perhaps Azor Ahai the forger of Lightbringer is not a single person but represents Jon's dynastic line, Aegon V and Rhaegar who were born in salt and smoke.

And of course Jon would be Rhaegar's third child or third attempt at an heir.

nailed it.

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Okay I'll be honest.

My first reaction when I started reading this was "Is there really a way to flog this dead horse that still hasn't been tried?"

My second reaction after reading a few paragraphs was "But doesn't this make Rhaegar's ...er...um...member... Lightbringer?"

But I should note that some of the parallels you have put forth have blown my mind. You appear to have crafted a solid theory and I must applaud some of the insights (especially the connection between the Stranger's hand and Jon).

Those were my feelings too. I saw this thread and thought 'oh god not another one of these threads'. But there's actually been a lot of thought put into this one. It's been an interesting read.

Time will tell who was right, of course. But the OP has certainly constructed an interesting argument.

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Strange and stranger. Where can I find this in the books?

They're both from ADWD. The first opens Jon XII, before Jon lets Tormund and his band through the Wall. The second is from Jon II, right before he sends Gilly off with Mance's son.

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Btw, regarding the burning wood/weirwood + Lyanna/Mother connection I made up thread, I meant to include Jon's refusal to burn the heart tree in the Winterfell godswood.

I like the Lyanna/wierwood connection. There's also the laughing heart tree when (f)Arya marries Ramsay (another KotLT tie-in). And that means when Jon refused to burn the Winterfell godswood, he was protecting (among others) a tree that George was using to directly reference his mother.

Okay I'll be honest.

My first reaction when I started reading this was "Is there really a way to flog this dead horse that still hasn't been tried?"

My second reaction after reading a few paragraphs was "But doesn't this make Rhaegar's ...er...um...member... Lightbringer?"

But I should note that some of the parallels you have put forth have blown my mind. You appear to have crafted a solid theory and I must applaud some of the insights (especially the connection between the Stranger's hand and Jon).

Those were my feelings too. I saw this thread and thought 'oh god not another one of these threads'. But there's actually been a lot of thought put into this one. It's been an interesting read.

Time will tell who was right, of course. But the OP has certainly constructed an interesting argument.

Thanks to both of you for reading the OP and for the nice words. I get that there have been a lot of "X is the true Lightbringer" threads. The thing is, I think Lightbringer is just the Red Religions's term for something that isn't actually (or at least isn't only) related to them or to Azor Ahai. I suppose I could have called this thread R+L=The Prince that was Promised, since I think that tPtwP is Lightbringer. I even think there's a pure Ice component to what Jon is, that goes along with all of the R'hllor fire stuff associated with the sword.

Basically, I think Jon has a specific, important role to play (which I'll get into when I update the OP) and I think Lightbringer is one faction's title for the person who plays that role. TPtwP is a more neutral title for the same person.

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I came across this quote recently:





“Why aren’t you down in the yard?” Arya asked [Jon].



He gave her a half smile. “Bastards are not allowed to damage young princes,” he said. “Any bruises they take in the practice yard must come from trueborn swords.”



AGoT, Arya I.




On one level, it works as potential foreshadowing that Jon's parents were married (with a dash of irony, since Joffrey is actually a bastard). But the wording is interesting here. Jon says "trueborn swords" ... not "trueborn's swords." If we accept that this is ironic foreshadowing, then it follows that Jon is a (trueborn) sword. Even if Rhaegar and Lyanna weren't married, the sword wording is still telling. It would just mean that Jon is a "bastard sword" instead of a "trueborn sword."





Great stuff! Very Interesting!





Thanks!


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