Jump to content

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Black Crow

Heresy 126

Recommended Posts

Welcome to Heresy 126, the latest edition of the very fast moving thread that takes a sideways look at the Song of Ice and Fire and sometimes turns things upside down.



Heresy covers a wide variety of subjects, but is largely about questioning some of the popular assumptions that the Wall and the Nights Watch were created to keep the Others at bay - and that the story is going to end with Jon Snow being identified as both the lost Targaryen heir and as Azor Ahai – seated on a dragon. However for a start if the white walkers are Craster’s sons then they’re clearly not an invading army but more akin to the Bloody Mummers - and that obviously raises the question of who is really behind them and why?



That’s just one example because heresy is about trying to figure out what’s really going on, by looking at clues in the text itself, and in identifying GRRM’s own sources and inspirations, ranging from Celtic and Norse mythology such as the Cu Chulainn cycle, the Morrigan and the Mabinogion, all the way through to Narnia and the original Land of Always Winter.



At first sight, stepping into the world of Heresy might appear confusing, but we are engaged in an exercise in chaos theory. Its about making connections between the various beliefs and types of magick, and also about reconciling the dodgy timelines. While most threads in this forum concentrate on a particular issue, we therefore range pretty widely and more or less in free-fall, in an effort to try and reach an understanding of what may really be happening through the resulting collision of ideas. However, beyond the firm belief that things are not as they seem, there is no such thing as an accepted heretic view on Craster’s sons or any of the other topics, and the fiercest critics of some of the ideas discussed on these pages are our fellow heretics



A link to Heresy 100 follows, in which will be found essays on seven major topics in heresy, with a bonus essay on the Crows: http://asoiaf.wester...138-heresy-100/. Links are also provided at the end of each of the essays to the relevant discussion thread, and for those made of sterner stuff we also have a link to Wolfmaid's essential guide to Heresy: http://asoiaf.wester...uide-to-heresy/, which provides annotated links to all the previous editions of Heresy.



Don’t be intimidated by the size and scope of Heresy. We’re very good at talking in circles and we don’t mind going over old ground again, especially with a fresh pair of eyes, so just ask, but be patient and observe the local house rules that the debate be conducted by reference to the text, with respect for the ideas of others, and above all with great good humour.


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good afternoon all. Any certain topics this week, BC? or shall we focus on our personal debates :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From Urrax


I don't think the moon cycles for Bran can be synched up with the outside world. As I recall, it's one of the features of Faerie that time moves there differently from the outer world. People spend a lifetime there and come back and find only a day has passed. I think something similar is happening with Bran.



I agree, and I don't think it's possible at this stage to really attempt to sync up Bran's timeline with the outside world. I was just offering my thoughts on AtS' idea of comparing moon cycles between Bran's journey and Val's trip to find Tormund.




From Wolfmaid


We agree to disagree and i'm cool with that :cheers:



As am I. Mayhaps we could both end up being wrong :cheers:


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good afternoon all. Any certain topics this week, BC? or shall we focus on our personal debates :)

Butterbumps did some very good analysis in the previous thread which is worth following up, as I said the real point of the Craster's sons business is that if true it brings the "mysterious" Others within the story and makes them a part of the jigsaw which we're trying to assemble.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We can all agree:



Craster leaves his sons outside. He believes he is offering them to someone or something.



Those are the two indisputable facts in this discussion.



That established, either:



  1. The boys die and play no further part in the story. Any suggestion to the contrary is a scarlet mackerel.
  2. The boys are collected by someone or something.

So if it's one, then no more discussion is required. End of. Let's look at two then:



If two is correct then either:


  1. The boys are killed by whatever takes them. End of story. Rouge kipper time.
  2. The boys are used by whatever takes them.

Once again, two is considerably more interesting. If two is correct then it is not a stretch at all to say they are used to create new WW's. I will argue to the death that the exact manner of transformation/binding/sacrifice/bonding/alteration or whatever, is utterly unimportant. What's important is that the threat comes from within, while appearing for three books as if it comes from the very definition of "without". Indeed, it is still the generally held opinion that the WW are a separate race, come down from their snowy home to wreak havoc upon Westeros. Ladies & gentleman, it's crimson cod time.



So why am I so convinced by this? Well the innumerable hints within the text, the fact that it's outright stated by someone any sane person would discount immediately, that sort of thing :D But seriously, the "other as self" is so blatantly in evidence here. The first WW must have been FM, possibly children, possibly willing adult hosts. I mean, that has to be why they use kids right? No "sense of self" to fight against? If so, it doesn't preclude adults agreeing to "become" willingly, does it? So, the big bad enemy has always been ourselves.



It also feeds directly into the theme of "doing what it takes to survive", as anyone who would become a WW or give their children to them, must have been desperate.



To me, it really is that simple :dunno:




EDIT



As a side note, the WW are now reminding me a lot of The Unsullied.


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We can all agree:

Craster leaves his sons outside. He believes he is offering them to someone or something.

Those are the two indisputable facts in this discussion.

That established, either:

  • The boys die and play no further part in the story. Any suggestion to the contrary is a scarlet mackerel.
  • The boys are collected by someone or something.
So if it's one, then no more discussion is required. End of. Let's look at two then:

If two is correct then either:

  • The boys are killed by whatever takes them. End of story. Rouge kipper time.
  • The boys are used by whatever takes them.
Once again, two is considerably more interesting. If two is correct then it is not a stretch at all to say they are used to create new WW's. I will argue to the death that the exact manner of transformation/binding/sacrifice/bonding/alteration or whatever, is utterly unimportant. What's important is that the threat comes from within, while appearing for three books as if it comes from the very definition of "without". Indeed, it is still the generally held opinion that the WW are a separate race, come down from their snowy home to wreak havoc upon Westeros. Ladies & gentleman, it's crimson cod time.

So why am I so convinced by this? Well the innumerable hints within the text, the fact that it's outright stated by someone any sane person would discount immediately, that sort of thing :D But seriously, the "other as self" is so blatantly in evidence here. The first WW must have been FM, possibly children, possibly willing adult hosts. I mean, that has to be why they use kids right? No "sense of self" to fight against? If so, it doesn't preclude adults agreeing to "become" willingly, does it? So, the big bad enemy has always been ourselves.

It also feeds directly into the theme of "doing what it takes to survive", as anyone who would become a WW or give their children to them, must have been desperate.

To me, it really is that simple :dunno:

EDIT

As a side note, the WW are now reminding me a lot of The Unsullied.

Fully agree.

But who/what created the first one?

Hint: at some point in time, the First Men abandoned their gods and followed those of the CotF. Nobody likes to be abandoned, gods even less.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So why am I so convinced by this? Well the innumerable hints within the text, the fact that it's outright stated by someone any sane person would discount immediately, that sort of thing :D But seriously, the "other as self" is so blatantly in evidence here. The first WW must have been FM, possibly children, possibly willing adult hosts. I mean, that has to be why they use kids right? No "sense of self" to fight against? If so, it doesn't preclude adults agreeing to "become" willingly, does it? So, the big bad enemy has always been ourselves.

Love the logic of your post. Seems silly to think that GRRM created Craster, his wives, and the backstory just to throw people off the scent. Which brings up the question, if they aren't Craster's sons, or at least Craster's sons aren't important in some fashion for "procreating" by the WW's, then what "scent" is GRRM working so hard to distract us from?

Now then, on to this one paragraph, and specifically the bolded part. I think we have an example of this, and it's the Night's King.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fully agree.

But who/what created the first one?

Hint: at some point in time, the First Men abandoned their gods and followed those of the CotF. Nobody likes to be abandoned, gods even less.

Black Crow would say it was the singers, and still is the singers. I may agree with the first premise, that a singer created the first one, but I don't believe there are enough singers left to still be creating them. The Others are "creating" themselves now. They've been watching, and men have forgotten. Magic is rising, and they can use it to cover the world in darkness again, and march out against the Andals and the blasphemers of the Seven to restore the Old Gods to power over Westeros.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fully agree.

But who/what created the first one?

Hint: at some point in time, the First Men abandoned their gods and followed those of the CotF. Nobody likes to be abandoned, gods even less.

In my "world view" the Others were created by the old gods.The souls or spirits that were turned into the Others were the sacrificed or abandoned humans,a custom that the First Men brought with them to Westeros,a custom that neither the old gods or weirwoods wanted,indeed they abhorred it.

That these souls were turned into the Others was the price payed for bringing down the hammer of the waters.Luwin describes it as sorcery and sorcery is described several times in the books as "dueling with a glass sword"-there is no way to grip it safely.Magic on the scale of smashing a land bridge comes at a cost,using Martin's rules.The greenseers/Cotf may have asked for it,the old gods provided it and they provided the Others too.An unintended consequence.The sins of the fathers.And they have the powers that they have,dominion over Ice and the ability to bring babies (and I would suggest vulnerable adults *cough Jon Snow cough*) into their realm and raise the dead as their thralls.

So really all Bran has to do is put Humpty Dumpty back together again. :smug:

And yes,good post TBC.Some times I miss the like button....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We can all agree:

Craster leaves his sons outside. He believes he is offering them to someone or something.

Those are the two indisputable facts in this discussion.

That established, either:

  • The boys die and play no further part in the story. Any suggestion to the contrary is a scarlet mackerel.
  • The boys are collected by someone or something.
So if it's one, then no more discussion is required. End of. Let's look at two then:

If two is correct then either:

  • The boys are killed by whatever takes them. End of story. Rouge kipper time.
  • The boys are used by whatever takes them.
Once again, two is considerably more interesting. If two is correct then it is not a stretch at all to say they are used to create new WW's. I will argue to the death that the exact manner of transformation/binding/sacrifice/bonding/alteration or whatever, is utterly unimportant. What's important is that the threat comes from within, while appearing for three books as if it comes from the very definition of "without". Indeed, it is still the generally held opinion that the WW are a separate race, come down from their snowy home to wreak havoc upon Westeros. Ladies & gentleman, it's crimson cod time.

So why am I so convinced by this? Well the innumerable hints within the text, the fact that it's outright stated by someone any sane person would discount immediately, that sort of thing :D But seriously, the "other as self" is so blatantly in evidence here. The first WW must have been FM, possibly children, possibly willing adult hosts. I mean, that has to be why they use kids right? No "sense of self" to fight against? If so, it doesn't preclude adults agreeing to "become" willingly, does it? So, the big bad enemy has always been ourselves.

It also feeds directly into the theme of "doing what it takes to survive", as anyone who would become a WW or give their children to them, must have been desperate.

To me, it really is that simple :dunno:

EDIT

As a side note, the WW are now reminding me a lot of The Unsullied.

I also agree. Hats off TBC

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You know - one thing that has always struck me as... well, a bit irksome... is the notion that once you start leaving babies out in the woods regularly ("giv[ing them] to the wood"), then the Singers are no longer the best fit for the title "Children of the Forest." <_<


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You know - one thing that has always struck me as... well, a bit irksome... is the notion that once you start leaving babies out in the woods regularly ("giv[ing them] to the wood"), then the Singers are no longer the best fit for the title "Children of the Forest." <_<

:rofl:

And seriously, I'll just add to the chorus of applause for Butcher Crow's piece.

Whether its the Singers who are directly responsible is perhaps a different matter

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For those thinking the Children were/are creating the Others, I think its a fair possibility that the Children aren't an entirely united front, all conforming to the same stance on how to deal with men. I'd once assumed this on my own, but after rereading Luwins quote from Clash, where he describes how the crannogmen of old grew close to the Children and were thus able to prevent having the hammer of waters destroy the neck the way it did the Arm of Dorne. I think this alone is enough to raise some questions, seeing as the crannogmen had learned enough of the Children's magic and "grew close" to them, and consequently were able to prevent the hammer of waters; it would seem as if some Children were living amongst the crannogmen while the hammer was being attempted to be brought down by different Children


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For those thinking the Children were/are creating the Others, I think its a fair possibility that the Children aren't an entirely united front, all conforming to the same stance on how to deal with men. I'd once assumed this on my own, but after rereading Luwins quote from Clash, where he describes how the crannogmen of old grew close to the Children and were thus able to prevent having the hammer of waters destroy the neck the way it did the Arm of Dorne. I think this alone is enough to raise some questions, seeing as the crannogmen had learned enough of the Children's magic and "grew close" to them, and consequently were able to prevent the hammer of waters; it would seem as if some Children were living amongst the crannogmen while the hammer was being attempted to be brought down by different Children

A good point, and a good reminder that Martin doesn't typically do the straight Us vs Them schtick... (all Pink Floyd jokes aside). In fact, in some respects the character who best fits Luwin's description of the CotF is... Meera. (Lives in a crannog, quick and graceful, female hunter, uses the flying snare... etc.) I've also occasionally wondered about the Gendel/Gorne stories... could the references to "Gendel's children" being "lost" underground actually refer to the faction of Singers who've collected Bran? Are their other Singers/CotF who remained above ground? What about the "wood dancers" mentioned by Maester Luwin? Might the Gendel/Gorne co-kingship have represented an alliance between CotF and men? So many questions...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For those thinking the Children were/are creating the Others, I think its a fair possibility that the Children aren't an entirely united front, all conforming to the same stance on how to deal with men. I'd once assumed this on my own, but after rereading Luwins quote from Clash, where he describes how the crannogmen of old grew close to the Children and were thus able to prevent having the hammer of waters destroy the neck the way it did the Arm of Dorne. I think this alone is enough to raise some questions, seeing as the crannogmen had learned enough of the Children's magic and "grew close" to them, and consequently were able to prevent the hammer of waters; it would seem as if some Children were living amongst the crannogmen while the hammer was being attempted to be brought down by different Children

This is a point I've made several times, that I think it's folly to assume all CotF are all pulling in the same direction, and have for all time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So a slightly different thought on this one, but building upon rather than contradicting Butcher's thoughts.



We have the white walkers, not a separate race or species but the Old Gods answer to the Bloody Mummers; janissaries or to follow Butcher's happy thought, the Unsullied. Children taken and turned into soldiers, but why...?



We're told they first appeared during the Long Night and that they administered a massive defeat to the First Men - and it was a defeat, everything north of the Wall was lost and everything between the Wall and the Neck pretty comprehensively depopulated. Sounds like a result to me. And then we've the evidence that they've been appearing from time to time ever since, but for what reason we don't know, yet anyway.



So why now?



There have been a couple of suggestions that it might be linked [1] to an absence of a Stark in Winterfell, or [2] Summerhall. The first I'd be inclined to dismiss. Yes Lord Rickard and his son Brandon were murdered by Aerys on the same day, but they were immediately succeeded by Lord Eddard, who in turn had Benjen deputising for him, so I don't see that one as a runner.



The problem with Summerhall is that while its mentioned significantly, demonstrating a link has been difficult, but there is in fact a possible connection.



Way back at the time when Heresy started off there was a joke that perhaps this isn't going to be a question of the Dragons saving Westeros from the Others, but rather the Others saving Westeros from the Dragons. Very funny says you, but consider this:



The Targaryens, or at least some of them, have been obsessed with the Prince that was Promised prophecy. We know very little about it, but given that exchange between Mel and Maester Aemon its not unreasonable to suppose that its a child of the Azor Ahai prophecy, identifying the hero in question as a Targaryen prince.



So far so good.



Now whatever the intentions of what went down at Summerhall, it had one very important result - it put Aerys II on the Iron Throne. Aerys, as we know, had a son, Rhaegar, who convinced himself that he was the Prince that was Promised and when he found that he didn't fit decided to make him instead - hence the excitement in some quarters over the R+L=J business. But as Maester Aemon pointed out the translation [from what?] was dodgy and decided that Danaerys is the one.



Objectively, you see, this has a lot going for it. Danaerys is the daughter of Aerys and brother of Rhaegar. This means that she is of the same generation; an obvious point I know but Rhaegar must have based his identification of himself as the Prince on something, perhaps counting the generations from Raella or whatever, but making the same mistake as Maester Aemon in looking for a boy, ie; if its not him and can't be weedy little Viserys, he must have done his sums wrong and its down to him to raise up the Prince in the next generation. In other words he reckoned without Danaerys and she, as we know, not only fits all the criteria but has the dragons to prove it.



Indeed the objection out there in the forum to identifying Danaerys as Azor Ahai/the Prince that was Promised is that she fits the criteria too well and is therefore far too obvious.



But if Westeros is to be saved from Azor Ahai, rather than saved by Azor Ahai... then its nowhere near so "obvious".



So lets look at the saving. Is the significant trigger for things starting to wake up north of the Wall and for Craster to begin giving up his sons not Summerhall or the death of Lord Rickard [and Brandon] but the birth of Danaerys/Azor Ahai on Dragonstone.



There are a couple of other wrinkles which occur to me on this, including the storm on the night of her birth [an attempt to kill her off there and then?] but I'll put this out now and see if it might have legs.


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another possibility is the birth of Jon Snow, or simply the return of magic that's enabling them to "bring the cold" to support another invasion attempt.



It's also possible that if the wall was some sort of agreement between men, the children, and the Others that somehow that agreement has been broken.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.

×