Jump to content

Archived

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

Lost Melnibonean

The power of Beric and Catelyn comes from the Old Gods, not the Lord of Light, and Jaime will be next.

Recommended Posts

Apparently, my old theory that the power of Beric and Catelyn comes from the Old Gods, not the Lord of Light was just a crackpot full of mumbo jumbo. Here are the relevant portions of a recent interview with the George...

Quote

Q: You’re in unusual territory, with your characters very much still in your hands but also out in the world being interpreted for TV. Are you able to have walls in your mind such that your Daenerys, say, is your Daenerys, and Emilia Clarke’s Daenerys is hers and the show’s?

A: I’ve arrived at that point. The walls are up in my mind. I don’t know that I was necessarily there from the beginning. At some points, when David and Dan and I had discussions about what way we should go in, I would always favor sticking with the books, while they would favor making changes. I think one of the biggest ones would probably be when they made the decision not to bring Catelyn Stark back as Lady Stoneheart. That was probably the first major diversion of the show from the books and, you know, I argued against that, and David and Dan made that decision.

In my version of the story, Catelyn Stark is re-imbued with a kind of life and becomes this vengeful wight who galvanizes a group of people around her and is trying to exact her revenge on the riverlands. David and Dan made a decision not to go in that direction in their story, pursuing other threads. But both of them are equally valid, I think, because Catelyn Stark is a fictional character and she doesn’t exist. You can tell either story about her.

...

Q: Did Lady Stoneheart come about because it was hard to say a permanent goodbye to Catelyn?

A: Yeah, maybe. That may have been part of it. Part of it was also, it’s the dialogue that I was talking about. And here I’ve got to get back to Tolkien again. And I’m going to seem like I’m criticizing him, which I guess I am. It’s always bothered me that Gandalf comes back from the dead. The Red Wedding for me in Lord of the Rings is the mines of Moria, and when Gandalf falls — it’s a devastating moment! I didn’t see it coming at 13 years old, it just totally took me by surprise. Gandalf can’t die! He’s the guy that knows all of the things that are happening! He’s one of the main heroes here! Oh god, what are they going to do without Gandalf? Now it’s just the hobbits?! And Boromir, and Aragorn? Well, maybe Aragorn will do, but it’s just a huge moment. A huge emotional investment.

And then in the next book, he shows up again, and it was six months between the American publications of those books, which seemed like a million years to me. So all that time I thought Gandalf was dead, and now he’s back and now he’s Gandalf the White. And, ehh, he’s more or less the same as always, except he’s more powerful. It always felt a little bit like a cheat to me. And as I got older and considered it more, it also seemed to me that death doesn’t make you more powerful. That’s, in some ways, me talking to Tolkien in the dialogue, saying, “Yeah, if someone comes back from being dead, especially if they suffer a violent, traumatic death, they’re not going to come back as nice as ever." That’s what I was trying to do, and am still trying to do, with the Lady Stoneheart character.

Q: And Jon Snow, too, is drained by the experience of coming back from the dead on the show.

A: Right. And poor Beric Dondarrion, who was set up as the foreshadowing of all this, every time he’s a little less Beric. His memories are fading, he’s got all these scars, he’s becoming more and more physically hideous, because he’s not a living human being anymore. His heart isn’t beating, his blood isn’t flowing in his veins, he’s a wight, but a wight animated by fire instead of by ice, now we’re getting back to the whole fire and ice thing.

Beric, and then Catelyn, were reanimated by the last kiss of R'hollr. Here is the mumbo jumbo...

Part I

Compare our first encounter with Beric to our first encounter with Brynden Rivers (in the main series)...

Quote

Her eyes had grown accustomed to blackness. When Harwin pulled the hood off her head, the ruddy glare inside the hollow hill made Arya blink like some stupid owl.

A huge firepit had been dug in the center of the earthen floor, and its flames rose swirling and crackling toward the smoke-stained ceiling. The walls were equal parts stone and soil, with huge white roots twisting through them like a thousand slow pale snakes. People were emerging from between those roots as she watched; edging out from the shadows for a look at the captives, stepping from the mouths of pitch-black tunnels, popping out of crannies and crevices on all sides. In one place on the far side of the fire, the roots formed a kind of stairway up to a hollow in the earth where a man sat almost lost in the tangle of weirwood.

Lem unhooded Gendry. What is this place? he asked.

An old place, deep and secret. A refuge where neither wolves nor lions come prowling.

Neither wolves nor lions. Aryas skin prickled. She remembered the dream shed had, and the taste of blood when she tore the mans arm from his shoulder.

Big as the fire was, the cave was bigger; it was hard to tell where it began and where it ended. The tunnel mouths might have been two feet deep or gone on two miles. Arya saw men and women and little children, all of them watching her warily.

...

When we left Kings Landing we were men of Winterfell and men of Darry and men of Blackhaven, Mallery men and Wylde men. We were knights and squires and men-at-arms, lords and commoners, bound together only by our purpose. The voice came from the man seated amongst the weirwood roots halfway up the wall. Six score of us set out to bring the kings justice to your brother. The speaker was descending the tangle of steps toward the floor. Six score brave men and true, led by a fool in a starry cloak. A scarecrow of a man, he wore a ragged black cloak speckled with stars and an iron breastplate dinted by a hundred battles. A thicket of red-gold hair hid most of his face, save for a bald spot above his left ear where his head had been smashed in. More than eighty of our company are dead now, but others have taken up the swords that fell from their hands. When he reached the floor, the outlaws moved aside to let him pass. One of his eyes was gone, Arya saw, the flesh about the socket scarred and puckered, and he had a dark black ring all around his neck. With their help, we fight on as best we can, for Robert and the realm.

Arya VI, Storm

Quote

No, boy, the child said. Behind you. She lifted her torch higher, and the light seemed to shift and change. One moment the flames burned orange and yellow, filling the cavern with a ruddy glow; then all the colors faded, leaving only black and white. Behind them Meera gasped. Hodor turned.

Before them a pale lord in ebon finery sat dreaming in a tangled nest of roots, a woven weirwood throne that embraced his withered limbs as a mother does a child.

His body was so skeletal and his clothes so rotted that at first Bran took him for another corpse, a dead man propped up so long that the roots had grown over him, under him, and through him. What skin the corpse lord showed was white, save for a bloody blotch that crept up his neck onto his cheek. His white hair was fine and thin as root hair and long enough to brush against the earthen floor. Roots coiled around his legs like wooden serpents. One burrowed through his breeches into the desiccated flesh of his thigh, to emerge again from his shoulder. A spray of dark red leaves sprouted from his skull, and grey mushrooms spotted his brow. A little skin remained, stretched across his face, tight and hard as white leather, but even that was fraying, and here and there the brown and yellow bone beneath was poking through.

Are you the three-eyed crow? Bran heard himself say. A three-eyed crow should have three eyes. He has only one, and that one red. Bran could feel the eye staring at him, shining like a pool of blood in the torchlight. Where his other eye should have been, a thin white root grew from an empty socket, down his cheek, and into his neck.

Bran II, Dance

Quote

Most of him has gone into the tree, explained the singer Meera called Leaf. He has lived beyond his mortal span, and yet he lingers. For us, for you, for the realms of men. Only a little strength remains in his flesh. He has a thousand eyes and one, but there is much to watch. One day you will know."

Bran III, Dance

And compare the description of Beric's first resurrection to Bloodraven's personal sigil...

Quote

"Can I dwell on what I scarce remember? I held a castle on the Marches once, and there was a woman I was pledged to marry, but I could not find that castle today, nor tell you the color of that woman's hair. Who knighted me, old friend? What were my favorite foods? It all fades. Sometimes I think I was born on the bloody grass in that grove of ash, with the taste of fire in my mouth and a hole in my chest. Are you my mother, Thoros?"

Arya VII, Storm

Quote

The light of the rising sun glittered off the points of five hundred lances and ten times as many spears. The night's grey banners were reborn in half a hundred gaudy colors. And above them all flew two regal dragons on night-black fields: the great three-headed beast of King Aerys I Targaryen, red as fire, and a white winged fury breathing scarlet flame.

Not Maekar after all, Dunk knew, when he saw those banners. The banners of the Prince of Summerhall showed four three-headed dragons, two and two, the arms of the fourth-born son of the late King Daeron II Targaryen. A single white dragon announced the presence of the King's Hand, Lord Brynden Rivers.

The Mystery Knight

The first time I read Storm, I was convinced that Beric was Azor Ahai until I got to the Epilogue. We are led to believe that the Lord of Light through Thoros revived Beric and lit his sword with fire. But why? What does Beric have to do with fighting darkness and the Great Other? Hes simply fighting to protect lives of the small folk of the Riverlands and to bring Roberts justice to Gregor. I understand that Thoros is a red priest and that the Brotherhood without Banners has been converted to the Rhllorism. But I think that Berics power comes from a different source. Note that Beric, not Thoros, gives his undeath to Catelyn, and this is before Gregor is killed by Oberyn. I havent figured out what Bryndens objectives are yet. His main goal appears to be to protect the realms of men from the Others. But he appears to be helping all of the Starks as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Part II

Perhaps Jaime will be next...

After leaving HH but before returning to rescue Brienne he had a dream. We know this was inspired by BR since Jaime rested his head on a weirwood stump.

He is forced down into a cave by hooded figures brandishing spears. Is this a foreshadowing of Jaime's coming encounter with Catelyn? As I argued above, I believe the voodoo behind Beric and Catelyn is inspired by Bloodraven not R'hllor.

He is shoved into a pit with Brienne, who fears a bear. This seems to be an obvious foreshadowing of Jaime's rescuing the maiden later in the chapter.

Tywin, Cersei, and Joffrey then appear. This predates the Red Wedding so Tywin and Joffrey are still alive at this point, but he and Joffrey will soon die, suffering deaths for which Jaime must later feel some blame. He released Tyrion, who killed Tywin, and he was the Lord Commander of Joffrey's KG but unable to protect him. And of course Jaime is the leading candidate to be Cersei's valonqar.

The trio departs but not before Tywin gives Jaime a sword. Keep in mind that the sword Tywin actually gives to Jaime is one of two from Ice and Jaime gives his sword, in turn, to Brienne. In the dream Brienne gets a sword like Jaime's and they both burn--silvery blue, like ice, real ice, not the sword of course, but the allusion is there.

The fact that both swords are flaming in a dream inspired by BR, who I believe is the power behind Beric and Catelyn, is why I think Jaime will succeed Catelyn who succeeded Beric.

Here's the way Brienne recalls Jaime at Harrenhal...

Quote

At Harrenhal the tubs had been huge, and made of stone. The bathhouse had been thick with the steam rising off the water, and Jaime had come walking through that mist naked as his name day, looking half a corpse and half a god.

Brienne II, Feast

And here's the way Cersei pictured him just before she began her walk of atonement...

Quote

She pictured him riding through the morning mists, his golden armor bright in the light of the rising sun.

Cersei II, Dance

Then BR, who sided with the red dragon against the brother he loved, sent Jaime's fallen KG brothers to hammer home Jaime's crime when he betrayed Aerys, notwithstanding Jaime's defense that Aerys planned to burn KL. Rhaegar reminded him that he left his wife and children in Jaime's hands. BR seems to be preparing Jaime to raise up Jon, Rhaegar's heir, as king.

Quote

And all for naught. They found only darkness, dust, and rats. And dragons, lurking down below. He remembered the sullen orange glow of the coals in the iron dragon's mouth. The brazier warmed a chamber at the bottom of a shaft where half a dozen tunnels met. On the floor he'd found a scuffed mosaic of the three-headed dragon of House Targaryen done in tiles of black and red. I know you, Kingslayer, the beast seemed to be saying. I have been here all the time, waiting for you to come to me. And it seemed to Jaime that he knew that voice, the iron tones that had once belonged to Rhaegar, Prince of Dragonstone.

Jaime I, Feast

Jaime identifies with the Warrior...

Quote

Why would Cersei need the Warrior? She has me.

Jaime II, Feast

And the Warrior protects children...

Quote

The Warrior stands before the foe,

protecting us where e'er we go.

With sword and shield and spear and bow,

he guards the little children.

Samwell II, Storm

Jaime wants to make good on his failed duty to protect Rhaegar's children...

Quote

"... So long as men remember the wrongs done to their forebears, no peace will ever last. So we go on century after century, with us hating the Brackens and them hating us. My father says there will never be an end to it."

"There could be."

"How, my lord? The old wounds never heal, my father says."

"My father had a saying too. Never wound a foe when you can kill him. Dead men don't claim vengeance."

"Their sons do," said Hoster, apologetically.

"Not if you kill the sons as well. Ask the Casterlys about that if you doubt me. Ask Lord and Lady Tarbeck, or the Reynes of Castamere. Ask the Prince of Dragonstone."

For an instant, the deep red clouds that crowned the western hills reminded him of Rhaegar's children, all wrapped up in crimson cloaks.

Jaime I, Dance

Jaime doesn't believe that Rhaegar has any living children. But the George strongly hinted that Jamie will be a kingmaker...

Quote

"They belonged to Criston Cole, who served the first Viserys and the second Aegon." Jaime closed the White Book. "They called him Kingmaker."

Jaime II, Feast

But perhaps Jaime will believe Aegon's claim? Here is a telling quote from Barristan on his path to redemption after taking Robert's pardon...

Quote

"That was when I knew that to redeem myself I must find the true king, and serve him loyally, with all the strength that still remained me."

Daenerys II, Dance

And here's Jaime telling Lancel what he thought of Robert...

Quote

"Robert was no true king."

Jaime IV, Feast

Quote

When he descended for the feast that night, Jaime Lannister wore a doublet of red velvet slashed with cloth-of-gold, and a golden chain studded with black diamonds. He had strapped on his golden hand as well, polished to a fine bright sheen. This was no fit place to wear his whites. His duty awaited him at Riverrun; a darker need had brought him here.

Jaime IV, Feast

Black on Red, like the Blackfyre dragon...

Assuming Jaime is Cersei's valonqar, this quote would tie in nicely with Jaime unwittingly supporting the black dragon...

Quote

Black had never been a happy color on her. With her fair skin, it made her look half a corpse herself.

Cersei II, Feast

Then we get this moment in Baelor's Sept (keep in mind that Bloodraven is associated with mist)...

Quote

Dawn caught Jaime almost unawares. As the glass in the dome began to lighten, suddenly there were rainbows shimmering off the walls and floors and pillars, bathing Lord Tywin's corpse in a haze of many-colored light. The King's Hand was rotting visibly. His face had taken on a greenish tinge, and his eyes were deeply sunken, two black pits. Fissures had opened in his cheeks, and a foul white fluid was seeping through the joints of his splendid gold-and-crimson armor to pool beneath his body.

The septons were the first to see, when they returned for their dawn devotions. They sang their songs and prayed their prayers and wrinkled up their noses, and one of the Most Devout grew so faint he had to be helped from the sept. Shortly after, a flock of novices came swinging censers, and the air grew so thick with incense that the bier seemed cloaked in smoke. All the rainbows vanished in that perfumed mist, yet the stench persisted, a sweet rotten smell that made Jaime want to gag.

Jaime I, Feast

As a mist forms about Tywin's corpse, a man so intimately associated with the deaths of Rhaegar's children, Jaime wants to gag on a sweet rotten stench, which is followed shortly by this gem...

Quote

High above, a crow screamed loudly. He was perched on the statue of King Baelor, shitting on his holy head.

Jaime I, Feast

On the road with Illyrio, Tyrion describes a dream...

Quote

"I dreamed about the queen," he said. "I was on my knees before her, swearing my allegiance, but she mistook me for my brother, Jaime, and fed me to her dragons."

Tyrion II, Dance

So if I'm right and Jaime, perhaps unJaime inspired in part by BR, supports Aegon, believing him to be Rhaegar's son, against Daenerys, Tyrion's dream could very well foreshadow the Kingslayer's fate.

And note that Brienne's sword continues to burn after Jaime's. Perhaps she will succeed Jaime?

Keep in mind that blackberries were associated with the Blackfyre in The Sworn Sword...

Quote

They made a circuit of the walls. The castle had been triangular, with square towers at each corner. Its gates were badly rotted. When Brienne tugged at one, the wood cracked and peeled away in long wet splinters, and half the gate came down on her. She could see more green gloom inside. The forest had breached the walls, and swallowed keep and bailey. But there was a portcullis behind the gate, its teeth sunk deep into the soft muddy ground. The iron was red with rust, but it held when Brienne rattled it. "No one's used this gate for a long time."

"I could climb over," offered Podrick. "By the cliff. Where the wall fell down."

"It's too dangerous. Those stones looked loose to me, and that red ivy's poisonous. There has to be a postern gate."

They found it on the north side of the castle, half-hidden behind a huge blackberry bramble. The berries had all been picked, and half the bush had been hacked down to cut a path to the door. The sight of the broken branches filled Brienne with disquiet. "Someone's been through here, and recently."

...

She shouldered through the blackberries and pulled at a rusted iron ring. 

Brienne IV, Feast

Finally, note that Jaime observes that Brienne could be a "beauty" in a certain light. Perhaps more beautiful than Cersei?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bump...

Man, nothing... not even, "God damn, Lost Melnibonean, that's the biggest dump of mumbo jumbo since you argued that Littlefinger hired a Faceless Man to kill Ned."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think the old gods are real. I think weirwoods are inherently magical but I believe the old gods are just greenseers tapped into the weirnet. So Thoros/Beric's powers MIGHT come from weirwoods, or they might not. Maybe the Essosi red priests get their powers from the trees that you can make Shade of the Evening from, or maybe they don't. I think it's Martin's intention to leave magic as a mysterious force, so we will never really know what gods people get their powers from or even if they get their powers from gods at all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It comes from neither religion/deity. It comes from magic.

But who makes the magic? Is it just some spell that Thoros happened upon by coincidence that only works now because of dragons?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nobody makes magic, it just exists and its power and prevalence fluctuates, like the seasons do. I don't think any deity in the story exists, it's all explainable by magic (e.g. The old gods are avtually just greenseers, the power of R'hllor is actually just magic that people incorrectly attribute to to a higher being).

I also don't think the dragons affect magic at all, magic was becoming stronger well before the dragons were hatched (i.e wargs have existed despite no dragons, shadowbinding has worked etc). In fact it took a combination of shadowbinding and blood magic to bring the dragons back in the first place.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And Beric, to whom the Lord of Light, at least ostensibly, has given such miraculous power, seems to be less than devout...

One brother, a young novice, was bold enough to tell the red priest not to pray to his false god so long as he was under their roof. "Bugger that," said Lem Lemoncloak. "He's our god too, and you owe us for your bloody lives. And what's false about him? Might be your Smith can mend a broken sword, but can he heal a broken man?"

"Enough, Lem," Lord Beric commanded. "Beneath their roof we will honor their rules."

Arya VII, Storm

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Notice the wording Beric uses when he knights Gendry...

This time the lightning lord did not set the blade afire, but merely laid it light on Gendry's shoulder. "Gendry, do you swear before the eyes of gods and men to defend those who cannot defend themselves, to protect all women and children, to obey your captains, your liege lord, and your king, to fight bravely when needed and do such other tasks as are laid upon you, however hard or humble or dangerous they may be?"

"I do, m'lord."

The marcher lord moved the sword from the right shoulder to the left, and said, "Arise Ser Gendry, knight of the hollow hill, and be welcome to our brotherhood."

Arya VII, Storm

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, Mel's magic is stronger at the Wall and that is most likely actually Old Gods magic. Basically, magic is magic and belief is just something people have come up with to explain it. Kind of like religion in the real world, we need an explanation, we think of Gods.


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That would be cool. We'll have to wait and see. Or maybe just decide for ourselves as GRRM is likely to leave a lot in the realm of mystery to leave room for readers to have their own interpretations.


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

(Added to Part II of the OP)

Perhaps Jaime will be next...

After leaving HH but before returning to rescue Brienne he had a dream. We know this was inspired by BR since Jaime rested his head on a weirwood stump.

He is forced down into a cave by hooded figures brandishing spears. Is this a foreshadowing of Jaime's coming encounter with Catelyn? As I argued above, I believe the voodoo behind Beric and Catelyn is inspired by Bloodraven not R'hllor.

He is shoved into a pit with Brienne, who fears a bear. This seems to be an obvious foreshadowing of Jaime's rescuing the maiden later in the chapter.

Tywin, Cersei, and Joffrey then appear. This predates the Red Wedding so Tywin and Joffrey are still alive at this point, but he and Joffrey will soon die, suffering deaths for which Jaime must later feel some blame. He released Tyrion, who killed Tywin, and he was the Lord Commander of Joffrey's KG but unable to protect him. And of course Jaime is the leading candidate to be Cersei's valonqar.

The trio departs but not before Tywin gives Jaime a sword. Keep in mind that the sword Tywin actually gives to Jaime is one of two from Ice and Jaime gives his sword, in turn, to Brienne. In the dream Brienne gets a sword like Jaime's and they both burn--silvery blue, like ice, real ice, not the sword of course, but the allusion is there.

The fact that both swords are flaming in a dream inspired by BR, who I believe is the power behind Beric and Catelyn, is why I think Jaime will succeed Catelyn who succeeded Beric.

Then BR, who sided with the red tragon against the brother he loved, sent Jaime's fallen KG brothers to hammer home Jaime's crime when he betrayed Aerys, notwithstanding Jaime's defense that Aerys planned to burn KL. Rhaegar reminded him that he left his wife and children in Jaime's hands. BR seems to be preparing Jaime to raise up Jon, Rhaegar's heir, as king. But perhaps Jaime will believe Aegon's claim?

And note that Brienne's sword continues to burn after Jaime's. Perhaps she will succeed Jaime?

Finally, note that Jaime observes that Brienne could be a "beauty" in a certain light.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And there's this line...

"Fire consumes," Lord Beric stood behind them, and there was something in his voice that silenced Thoros at once. "It consumes, and when it is done there is nothing left. Nothing."

Arya VIII, Storm

Doesn't sound too pious to me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it's Martin's intention to leave magic as a mysterious force, so we will never really know what gods people get their powers from or even if they get their powers from gods at all.

This. Same goes for all the prophecies. We'll find people who, at the end of the story, might fit a certain prophecy. But we'll never know for sure.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Would this not rely on each of Beric's resurrections being in front of a weirwood though? In order to be influenced by the Old Gods/BR I mean

I don't think so. BR is pretty potent. The Hollow Hill seems more a hint than a mechanism.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This. Same goes for all the prophecies. We'll find people who, at the end of the story, might fit a certain prophecy. But we'll never know for sure.

There'd be a lot less to discuss if everything was spelled out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

×