Jump to content

Archived

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

Black Crow

Heresy 162

Recommended Posts

Welcome to Heresy 162, and the usual critical look at the Song of Ice and Fire.



Heresy is a free-flowing and above all friendly series of ongoing discussions and arguments, usually concerned with the Wall, the Heart of Darkness which lies beyond it, the old gods and the white walkers and the possible Stark connection to both – or in short, to Winter.



GRRM’s original synopsis from 1993, [transcribed below as usual] emphasises that the story is followed through five related story arcs, not one. The script has obviously changed and moved in a number of interesting directions since then but above all it’s clear from the synopsis that it does not revolve around the question of Jon Snow’s mother, far less depend upon it for the conclusion of an altogether much larger and much richer story.



The strength and the beauty and ultimately the value of Heresy as a critical discussion is that it reflects this diversity. This is a thread where ideas can be discussed – and argued - freely and because above all it is about an exchange of ideas and sometimes too a remarkably well informed exchange drawing upon an astonishing broad base of literature ranging through Joseph Conrad, Susannah Clarke, CS Lewis, and so many others all to the way to the Táin Bó Cúailnge and the Mabinogion; it’s about history [not forgetting the all-important date of 1189] It’s about mythology, archaeology, ringworks and chambered tombs and even, the Gods save us, heroic geology, but above all it’s about the Song of Ice and Fire.



If new to Heresy you may also want to refer to to Wolfmaid's essential guide to Heresy: http://asoiaf.wester...uide-to-heresy/, which provides annotated links to all the previous editions of Heresy, latterly identified by topic.



Don’t be intimidated by the size and scope of Heresy, or by some of the ideas we’ve discussed or might have over the years. We’re very welcoming and 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.



Beyond that, read on.

:commie: :commie: :commie:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And now the slightly spoilerish full text of GRRM's1993 letter to his agent, Ralph Vicinanza. Things have obviously changed a bit since then but If you don’t want to know, don’t read on:



October 1993



Dear Ralph,



Here are the first thirteen chapters (170 pages) of the high fantasy novel I promised you, which I'm calling A Game of Thrones. When completed, this will be the first volume in what I see as an epic trilogy with the overall title, A Song of Ice and Fire.



As you know, I don't outline my novels. I find that if I know exactly where a book is going, I lose all interest in writing it. I do, however, have some strong notions as to the overall structure of the story I'm telling, and the eventual fate of many of the principle [sic] characters in the drama.



Roughly speaking, there are three major conflicts set in motion in the chapters enclosed. These will form the major plot threads of the trilogy, intertwining with each other in what should be a complex but exciting (I hope) narrative tapestry. Each of the conflicts presents a major threat to the peace of my imaginary realm, the Seven Kingdoms, and to the lives of the principal characters.



The first threat grows from the enmity between the great houses of Lannister and Stark as it plays out in a cycle of plot, counterplot, ambition, murder, and revenge, with the iron throne of the Seven Kingdoms as the ultimate prize. This will form the backbone of the first volume of the trilogy, A Game of Thrones.



While the lion of Lannister and the direwolf of Stark snarl and scrap, however, a second and greater threat takes shape across the narrow sea, where the Dothraki horselords mass their barbarians hordes for a great invasion of the Seven Kingdoms, led by the fierce and beautiful Daenerys Stormborn, the last of the Targaryen dragonlords. The Dothraki invasion will be the central story of my second volume,A Dance with Dragons.



The greatest danger of all, however, comes from the north, from the icy wastes beyond the Wall, where half-forgotten demons out of legend, the inhuman others, raise cold legions of the undead and the neverborn and prepare to ride down on the winds of winter to extinguish everything that we would call "life." The only thing that stands between the Seven Kingdoms and and endless night is the Wall, and a handful of men in black called the Night's Watch. Their story will be the heart of my third volume, The Winds of Winter. The final battle will also draw together characters and plot threads left from the first two books and resolve all in one huge climax.



The thirteen chapters on hand should give you a notion as to my narrative strategy. All three books will feature a complex mosaic of intercutting points-of-view among various of my large and diverse cast of players. The cast will not always remains the same. Old characters will die, and new ones will be introduced. Some of the fatalities will include sympathetic viewpoint characters. I want the reader to feel that no one is ever completely safe, not even the characters who seem to be the heroes. The suspense always ratchets up a notch when you know that any character can die at any time.



Five central characters will make it through all three volumes, however, growing from children to adults and changing the world and themselves in the process. In a sense, my trilogy is almost a generational saga, telling the life stories of these five characters, three men and two women. The five key players are Tyrion Lannister, Daenerys Targaryen, and three of the children of Winterfell, Arya, Bran, and the bastard Jon Snow. All of them are introduced at some length in the chapters you have to hand.



This is going to be (I hope) quite an epic. Epic in its scale, epic in its action, and epic in its length. I see all three volumes as big books, running about 700 to 800 manuscript pages, so things are just barely getting underway in the thirteen chapters I've sent you.



I have quite a clear notion of how the story is going to unfold in the first volume, A Game of Thrones. Things will get a lot worse for the poor Starks before they get better, I'm afraid. Lord Eddard Stark and his wife Catelyn Tully are both doomed, and will perish at the hands of their enemies. Ned will discover what happened to his friend Jon Arryn, but before he can act on his knowledge, King Robert will have an unfortunate accident, and the throne will pass to his sullen and brutal son Joffrey, still a minor. Joffrey will not be sympathetic and Ned will be accused of treason, but before he is taken he will help his wife and his daughter escape back to Winterfell.



Each of the contending families will learn it has a member of dubious loyalty in its midst. Sansa Stark, wed to Joffrey Baratheon, will bear him a son, the heir to the throne, and when the crunch comes she will choose her husband and child over her parents and siblings, a choice she will later bitterly rue. Tyrion Lannister, meanwhile, befriend both Sansa and her sister Arya, while growing more and more disenchanted with his own family.



Young Bran will come out of his coma, after a strange prophetic dream, only to discover that he will never walk again. He will turn to magic, at first in the hope of restoring his legs, but later for its own sake. When his father Eddard Stark is executed, Bran will see the shape of doom descending on all of them, but nothing he can say will stop his brother Robb from calling the banners in rebellion. All the north will be inflamed by war. Robb will win several splendid victories, and maim Joffrey Baratheon on the battlefield, but in the end he will not be able to stand against Jaime and Tyrion Lannister and their allies. Robb Stark will die in battle, and Tyrion Lannister will besiege and burn Winterfell.



Jon Snow, the bastard, will remain in the far north. He will mature into a ranger of great daring, and ultimately will succeed his uncle as the commander of the Night's Watch. When Winterfell burns, Catelyn Stark will be forced to flee north with her son Bran and her daughter Arya. Hounded by Lannister riders, they will seek refuge at the Wall, but the men of the Night's Watch give up their families when they take the black, and Jon and Benjen will not be able to help, to Jon's anguish. It will lead to a bitter estrangement between Jon and Bran. Arya will be more forgiving... until she realizes, with terror, that she has fallen in love with Jon, who is not only her half-brother but a man of the Night's Watch, sworn to celibacy. Their passion will continue to torment Jon and Arya throughout the trilogy, until the secret of Jon's true parentage is finally revealed in the last book.



Abandoned by the Night's Watch, Catelyn and her children will find their only hope of safety lies even further north, beyond the Wall, where they fall into the hands of Mance Rayder, the King-beyond-the-Wall, and get a dreadful glimpse of the inhuman others as they attack the wildling encampment. Bran's magic, Arya's sword Needle, and the savagery of their direwolves will help them survive, but their mother Catelyn will die at the hands of the others.



Over across the narrow sea, Daenerys Targaryen will discover that her new husband, the Dothraki Khal Drogo, has little interest in invading the Seven Kingdoms, much to her brother's frustration. When Viserys presses his claims past the point of tact or wisdom, Khal Drogo will finally grow annoyed and kill him out of hand, eliminating the Targaryen pretender and leaving Daenerys as the last of her line. Daenerys will bide her time, but she will not forget. When the moment is right, she will kill her husband to avenge her brother, and then flee with a trusted friend into the wilderness beyond Vaes Dothrak. There, hunted by Dothraki bloodriders [?] of her life, she stumbles on a cache of dragon's eggs [?] of a young dragon will give Daenerys the power to bend the Dothraki to her will. Then she begins to plan for her invasion of the Seven Kingdoms.



Tyrion Lannister will continue to travel, to plot, and to play the game of thrones, finally removing his nephew Joffrey in disgust at the boy king's brutality. Jaime Lannister will follow Joffrey on the throne of the Seven Kingdoms, by the simple expedient of killing everyone ahead of him in the line of succession and blaming his brother Tyrion for the murders. Exiled, Tyrion will change sides, making common cause with surviving Starks to bring his brother down, and falling helplessly in love with Arya Stark while he's at it. His passion is, alas, unreciprocated, but no less intense for that, and it will lead to a deadly rivalry between Tyrion and Snow.



[7 Lines Redacted]



But that's the second book...



I hope you'll find some editors who are as excited about all of this as I am. Feel free to share this letter with anyone who wants to know how the story will go.



All best,


George R.R. Martin





What’s in that redacted passage we don’t know but here’s what appears to be the equally spoilerish original synopsis/publisher’s blurb for Winds of Winter; not the forthcoming one, alas, but one apparently dating back to when it was still to be the third volume of the trilogy and following directly on in content and style from the first synopsis set out above:




Continuing the most imaginative and ambitious epic fantasy since The Lord of the Rings Winter has come at last and no man can say whether it will ever go again. The Wall is broken, the cold dead legions are coming south, and the people of the Seven Kingdoms turn to their queen to protect them. But Daenerys Targaryen is learning what Robert Baratheon learned before her; that it is one thing to win a throne and quite another to sit on one. Before she can hope to defeat the Others, Dany knows she must unite the broken realm behind her. Wolf and lion must hunt together, maester and greenseer work as one, all the blood feuds must be put aside, the bitter rivals and sworn enemies join hands. The Winds of Winter tells the story of Dany’s fight to save her new-won kingdom, of two desperate journeys beyond the known world in to the very hearts of ice and fire, and of the final climactic battle at Winterfell, with life itself in the balance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I always saw the flaming Dondarrion sword to be a trick since he was with Thoros this whole time who used to do that to his own sword in tourneys and such. And now that Thoros (a red priest) can raise the dead through his sorcery, perhaps he can do more with fire than he could before. How did Melisandre get that eagle to catch fire? It could be the same trick. Maybe it could also be some sort of clue as to how the fire magic works since unBeric uses his own blood on the sword, so who knows?



But another thing to consider is that this happened at the high hill, no? Isn't that a cave with a bunch of weirwood roots too? hmmmmmm


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mark, great link.. much better than the limited one I've been using (I don't have a Kindle).



Tunnels, people. World references, for now. Gorne and Gendel are overwhelmingly mentioned in Jon and Bran chapters.



from World re: CotF



But other sources dispute this, stating that their greatest foes were the giants, as hinted at in tales told in the North, and as possibly proved by Maester Kennet in the study of a barrow near the Long Lake—a giant's burial with obsidian arrowheads found amidst the extant ribs. It brings to mind a transcription of a wildling song in Maester Herryk's History of the Kings-Beyond-the-Wall, regarding the brothers Gendel and Gorne. They were called upon to mediate a dispute between a clan of children and a family of giants over the possession of a cavern. Gendel and Gorne, it is said, ultimately resolved the matter through trickery, making both sides disavow any desire for the cavern, after the brothers discovered it was a part of a greater chain of caverns that eventually passed beneath the Wall. But considering that the wildlings have no letters, their traditions must be looked at with a jaundiced eye.



Why Yandel segues from something that happened in ancient history (must have been a pre-Wall skirmish between the CotF and the Giants) to something that happened 3,000 years ago, I don't know. Another thing to note is that Long Lake is about halfway between the Wall and Winterfell, and is where Raymun Redbeard met the Winterfell host in battle and died at the hand of Artos Stark.



The brothers Gendel and Gorne were joint kings three thousand years ago. Leading their host down beneath the earth into a labyrinth of twisting subterranean caverns, they passed beneath the Wall unseen to attack the North. Gorne slew the Stark king in battle, then was killed in turn by the king's heir, and Gendel and his remaining wildlings fled back to their caverns, never to been seen again.



We don't know where this battle took place. Long Lake or closer to Winterfell itself?



It should be noted that Bran tells us something about the Winterfell crypts



The vault was cavernous, longer than Winterfell itself, and Jon had told him once that there were other levels underneath, vaults even deeper and darker where the older kings were buried.



Was the cavern the Children and the Giants fought over the Cave ofthe 3EC? Dunno, but if they both wanted it, it must have been a cavern of importance.



On an odd note, we have another trickster of the caverns... Lann the Clever, of unknown origins.



Re: The Wall



I'm going to put out there that the Wall's magic is woven into the Ice itself. It doesn't extend into infinity above and below ground. The only unguarded gate we know about is the Black Gate, but that is especially warded with magic separate from the magic of the Wall.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bookmarked

http://asearchoficeandfire.com/

Thanks for the link Mark. Probably much better than my copy. That one group of Wildlings is called the Therns right?

Couple things to note about this:

1. It doesn't work like a normal engine, with loose search terms. If you search for "brother's lie" it will find nothing, because it's searching for that exact phrase, not those two terms.

2. If search results go past a certain number, it will simply stop functioning.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

from World re: CotF

But other sources dispute this, stating that their greatest foes were the giants, as hinted at in tales told in the North, and as possibly proved by Maester Kennet in the study of a barrow near the Long Lake—a giant's burial with obsidian arrowheads found amidst the extant ribs. It brings to mind a transcription of a wildling song in Maester Herryk's History of the Kings-Beyond-the-Wall, regarding the brothers Gendel and Gorne. They were called upon to mediate a dispute between a clan of children and a family of giants over the possession of a cavern. Gendel and Gorne, it is said, ultimately resolved the matter through trickery, making both sides disavow any desire for the cavern, after the brothers discovered it was a part of a greater chain of caverns that eventually passed beneath the Wall. But considering that the wildlings have no letters, their traditions must be looked at with a jaundiced eye.

I must preface what I'm about to say with the fact that I've been MIA from not only the forums but the whole world of ASOIAF for close to a year - new job, new city and life in general got in the way - so my memory and heretical lens are rusty at best.

But this quote from the World Book, which I have yet to read, makes me return to an idea I was loosely playing with in my short foray into Heresy last year: that the House Umber sigil of a giant breaking chains is rooted in a historical event that is closely tied to the overthrow of the NK, or more broadly, the freeing of Northmen and Giants from the Old Powers associated with the Children and the Others. ATM, I have no real textual support for this - is just a loose idea/feeling (in general I need to do a heretical re-read before I have anything really substantial to contribute) - but this idea sort of presents a conflict with the Children and Others closely associated on one side and Giants and Men on the other

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I must preface what I'm about to say with the fact that I've been MIA from not only the forums but the whole world of ASOIAF for close to a year - new job, new city and life in general got in the way - so my memory and heretical lens are rusty at best.

But this quote from the World Book, which I have yet to read, makes me return to an idea I was loosely playing with in my short foray into Heresy last year: that the House Umber sigil of a giant breaking chains is rooted in a historical event that is closely tied to the overthrow of the NK, or more broadly, the freeing of Northmen and Giants from the Old Powers associated with the Children and the Others. ATM, I have no real textual support for this - is just a loose idea/feeling (in general I need to do a heretical re-read before I have anything really substantial to contribute) - but this idea sort of presents a conflict with the Children and Others closely associated on one side and Giants and Men on the other

interesting.. certainly the CotF vs the Giants is well-recorded, probably well before the First Men came. Who do you think chained the Giants? Who do you think freed them? The giant-barrow location at Long Lake is also pretty revealing. Not terribly far from Last Hearth, and the Umbers were at the same battle where RR was slain.

And you make a great point about sigils because I think they're rooted in old truths and old histories, for the most part. I can't think of any that are an out and out lie. Some might be merely decorative sure, but those that seem to tell a story, like the Umber sigil, were probably envisioned by GRRM to make us think.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I always saw the flaming Dondarrion sword to be a trick since he was with Thoros this whole time who used to do that to his own sword in tourneys and such. And now that Thoros (a red priest) can raise the dead through his sorcery, perhaps he can do more with fire than he could before. How did Melisandre get that eagle to catch fire? It could be the same trick. Maybe it could also be some sort of clue as to how the fire magic works since unBeric uses his own blood on the sword, so who knows?

But another thing to consider is that this happened at the high hill, no? Isn't that a cave with a bunch of weirwood roots too? hmmmmmm

Beric's sword seems to need blood to catch on fire. Maybe that's the case with Lightbringer, we may have seen it but it needs blood, not fire, to become the flaming red sword. Nissa Nissa or a similar sacrifice. I don't remember anything particularly special about Beric's sword otherwise.

Thoros makes the sword flame with wildfire, not blood, so a bit of a trick on his part. However it's obvious with Beric and Thoros that there is also real magic at work.

Anyway, if Dawn is Lightbringer, maybe it needs the blood to flame red and give off heat.

(past speculation on my part is that Valyrian steel uses some sort of blood magic to be created. Dawn, being pale blue light, may have the blood of the Others on it [hence speculation that Dawn is the original Ice, or at the least is the dragonsteel that was used during the Battle for the Dawn (battle for the Dawn, get it?)])

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

interesting.. certainly the CotF vs the Giants is well-recorded, probably well before the First Men came. Who do you think chained the Giants? Who do you think freed them? The giant-barrow location at Long Lake is also pretty revealing. Not terribly far from Last Hearth, and the Umbers were at the same battle where RR was slain.

Well my thoughts are that the Giants weren't chained literally but rather figuratively, as in by magic by the Children. For what purpose, no idea but certainly related to their hypothetical feud/conflict. And they were 'freed' by the Northmen led by the Stark in Winterfell who sought to sever the relationship or free Men from magic, which I am theorizing lines up with the overthrow of the NK.

Anyway, I went back to dig up some of my earlier posts on the giants that I was working out and found this from Heresy 129. The tl;dr version is that the old tales we have of giants do not sound like the giants we've met at all, but sound more like the Children. Which led me back then to wonder if the Giants were enslaved magically by the Children as the sort of fighting force in the war with men. Hence, them being 'brothers and bane' - on the same side though in a coercive way. I'm not sure yet how it all ties together, and I haven't even thought to look at it in relation to Rayum Redbeard or other Kings Beyond the Wall, but I think the main idea is that the Umber sigil refers to the Giants being freed from the Children or more broadly, the 'overthrow' or disappearance of the Old Powers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Beric's sword seems to need blood to catch on fire. Maybe that's the case with Lightbringer, we may have seen it but it needs blood, not fire, to become the flaming red sword. Nissa Nissa or a similar sacrifice. I don't remember anything particularly special about Beric's sword otherwise.

Thoros makes the sword flame with wildfire, not blood, so a bit of a trick on his part. However it's obvious with Beric and Thoros that there is also real magic at work.

Anyway, if Dawn is Lightbringer, maybe it needs the blood to flame red and give off heat.

(past speculation on my part is that Valyrian steel uses some sort of blood magic to be created. Dawn, being pale blue light, may have the blood of the Others on it [hence speculation that Dawn is the original Ice, or at the least is the dragonsteel that was used during the Battle for the Dawn (battle for the Dawn, get it?)])

While I do believe Dawn to be the original Lightbringer, I don't think it has to do with physical blood to make it manifest its true power. I believe that it's not the sword, but the person wielding it. Basically, Lightbringer can't be forged just by anyone. The whole forging legend reads like personal struggle of someone developing the character traits needed to wield/become the legendary Lightbringer/AA. First, Azor Ahai was a learned/skilled man (forging a weapon through normal means is quite involved). His skill failed him. Next, he demonstrated bravery/willingness to put oneself in danger by attempting to temper the sword in the heart of a lion. This wasn't enough and he failed. Finally, he was successful when he became someone who was willing to sacrifice that which he loved.

This is one of the big reasons I believe that, if anyone will be Azor Ahai, it's Jaime Lannister. His skill in battle failed him and resulted in capture and eventual de-handing (Riverlands = water). His bravery was tested several times, but I think the most crucial is when he admitted to Tyrion the ploy with his wife, which led Tyrion to spit curses/insinuations that haunted Jaime since (Tyrion's figurative heart = Lion's heart). Finally, he has to sacrifice what he loves. While this may be a future event with Brienne, I'm of the belief that him rejecting Cersei's request to be her champion will prove to be the sacrifice (the letter being burned with fire being particularly symbolic).

Whether or not he will wield Dawn or if another sword will be a new Lightbringer (Oathkeeper, fire from Ice), I can't really say.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Beric's sword seems to need blood to catch on fire. Maybe that's the case with Lightbringer, we may have seen it but it needs blood, not fire, to become the flaming red sword. Nissa Nissa or a similar sacrifice. I don't remember anything particularly special about Beric's sword otherwise.

Thoros makes the sword flame with wildfire, not blood, so a bit of a trick on his part. However it's obvious with Beric and Thoros that there is also real magic at work.

Anyway, if Dawn is Lightbringer, maybe it needs the blood to flame red and give off heat.

(past speculation on my part is that Valyrian steel uses some sort of blood magic to be created. Dawn, being pale blue light, may have the blood of the Others on it [hence speculation that Dawn is the original Ice, or at the least is the dragonsteel that was used during the Battle for the Dawn (battle for the Dawn, get it?)])

My theory for a while now has been that Beric-style Fire Resurrection + Dawn/Valyrian steel = Lightbringer. Both Dawn and Valyrian steel's most notable feature is their durability, so in theory both should be able to withstand the flames during a prolonged battle without being damaged, unlike Beric's sword during his duel.

I think I suggested a couple heresies ago that the Last Hero was a man who'd been resurrected by some sort of fire magic, and like Beric, had been losing his memories as a consequence of the process; by the end of the Long Night, he no longer remembered who he was, and this is why such a significant figure's name no longer exists in song or record, and why no House seems to be laying claim to his legacy (except the Daynes?).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

While I do believe Dawn to be the original Lightbringer, I don't think it has to do with physical blood to make it manifest its true power. I believe that it's not the sword, but the person wielding it. Basically, Lightbringer can't be forged just by anyone. The whole forging legend reads like personal struggle of someone developing the character traits needed to wield/become the legendary Lightbringer/AA. First, Azor Ahai was a learned/skilled man (forging a weapon through normal means is quite involved). His skill failed him. Next, he demonstrated bravery/willingness to put oneself in danger by attempting to temper the sword in the heart of a lion. This wasn't enough and he failed. Finally, he was successful when he became someone who was willing to sacrifice that which he loved.

This is one of the big reasons I believe that, if anyone will be Azor Ahai, it's Jaime Lannister. His skill in battle failed him and resulted in capture and eventual de-handing (Riverlands = water). His bravery was tested several times, but I think the most crucial is when he admitted to Tyrion the ploy with his wife, which led Tyrion to spit curses/insinuations that haunted Jaime since (Tyrion's figurative heart = Lion's heart). Finally, he has to sacrifice what he loves. While this may be a future event with Brienne, I'm of the belief that him rejecting Cersei's request to be her champion will prove to be the sacrifice (the letter being burned with fire being particularly symbolic).

Whether or not he will wield Dawn or if another sword will be a new Lightbringer (Oathkeeper, fire from Ice), I can't really say.

I'm partial to the notion that Jaime Lannister will become the Sword of the Morning. Not for his blood, but for his needed skills when the shite hits the fans.

Jaime has absolutely tons of salt/smoke and rebirth imagery, more than anyone else in the novels, I've been on board with Jaime as AA in the past and still consider it totally viable.

It's his dream that makes me believe he'll wield Dawn, that will possibly be split in two just like the "new" Ice was. The pale blue light imagery is undeniable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well my thoughts are that the Giants weren't chained literally but rather figuratively, as in by magic by the Children. For what purpose, no idea but certainly related to their hypothetical feud/conflict. And they were 'freed' by the Northmen led by the Stark in Winterfell who sought to sever the relationship or free Men from magic, which I am theorizing lines up with the overthrow of the NK.

Anyway, I went back to dig up some of my earlier posts on the giants that I was working out and found this from Heresy 129. The tl;dr version is that the old tales we have of giants do not sound like the giants we've met at all, but sound more like the Children. Which led me back then to wonder if the Giants were enslaved magically by the Children as the sort of fighting force in the war with men. Hence, them being 'brothers and bane' - on the same side though in a coercive way. I'm not sure yet how it all ties together, and I haven't even thought to look at it in relation to Rayum Redbeard or other Kings Beyond the Wall, but I think the main idea is that the Umber sigil refers to the Giants being freed from the Children or more broadly, the 'overthrow' or disappearance of the Old Powers.

What complicates discussion of giants is Jon's disappointment on meeting those with Mance's host. As you say they are nothing like those big men in seven league boots who populate Old Nan's tales, while notwithstanding GreatJon Umber's lack of social finesse its hard to see him as even a distant cousin of Wun Wun. There is a possible explanation in the World Book in the accounts of the now-vanished maze-builders who were apparently much taller than ordinary men. There have been thoughts here on Heresy that while they are dead and gone and unlikely to come back again any time soon, their magic may linger.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Beric's sword seems to need blood to catch on fire. Maybe that's the case with Lightbringer, we may have seen it but it needs blood, not fire, to become the flaming red sword. Nissa Nissa or a similar sacrifice. I don't remember anything particularly special about Beric's sword otherwise.

Thoros makes the sword flame with wildfire, not blood, so a bit of a trick on his part. However it's obvious with Beric and Thoros that there is also real magic at work.

Anyway, if Dawn is Lightbringer, maybe it needs the blood to flame red and give off heat.

(past speculation on my part is that Valyrian steel uses some sort of blood magic to be created. Dawn, being pale blue light, may have the blood of the Others on it [hence speculation that Dawn is the original Ice, or at the least is the dragonsteel that was used during the Battle for the Dawn (battle for the Dawn, get it?)])

It seems a bit of a trick but at the same time I'd say that there is real magic in there. The sword itself wasn't up to snuff and got broken so we're certainly not looking at anything clever in its forging. I'm inclined to think on the other hand that Beric, albeit inadvertently, was raised and sustained by fire magic and so its not unreasonable to suppose that some of that fire magic is in his undead blood.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My theory for a while now has been that Beric-style Fire Resurrection + Dawn/Valyrian steel = Lightbringer. Both Dawn and Valyrian steel's most notable feature is their durability, so in theory both should be able to withstand the flames during a prolonged battle without being damaged, unlike Beric's sword during his duel.

I think I suggested a couple heresies ago that the Last Hero was a man who'd been resurrected by some sort of fire magic, and like Beric, had been losing his memories as a consequence of the process; by the end of the Long Night, he no longer remembered who he was, and this is why such a significant figure's name no longer exists in song or record, and why no House seems to be laying claim to his legacy (except the Daynes?).

Hmm. I like it. We should also remember that Jaime is perfectly poised to be killed/literally resurrected.

I think Ran mentioned that there was a lot more about the SotM that didn't make it into the World books. It may be that it needs to be someone worthy, and not just a Dayne. Obvs it won't be Edric and Darkstar seems to have been passed over.

I know a few here like the idea of Jon as a Dayne so he can be SotM, but I think he's going to take his dark turn and fight for the "other" side... where he is, in fact, a King. Jon's "king" imagery is undeniable, but he's not a Targ. :)

We'd also get a complete flip from the events of Book One. Innocent Bran becomes a force for darkness, and evil Jaime becomes a force for light. And all that.

Anyway, there are only two characters in the novels that I would consider "worthy" of being the SotM, and those are Jaime and Jon. But Jon is of the night, to steal a cheesy line from DS. Black always was his color.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hmm. I like it. We should also remember that Jaime is perfectly poised to be killed/literally resurrected.

I think Ran mentioned that there was a lot more about the SotM that didn't make it into the World books. It may be that it needs to be someone worthy, and not just a Dayne. Obvs it won't be Edric and Darkstar seems to have been passed over.

I know a few here like the idea of Jon as a Dayne so he can be SotM, but I think he's going to take his dark turn and fight for the "other" side... where he is, in fact, a King. Jon's "king" imagery is undeniable, but he's not a Targ. :)

We'd also get a complete flip from the events of Book One. Innocent Bran becomes a force for darkness, and evil Jaime becomes a force for light. And all that.

Anyway, there are only two characters in the novels that I would consider "worthy" of being the SotM, and those are Jaime and Jon. But Jon is of the night, to steal a cheesy line from DS. Black always was his color.

I don't have a problem with Jon turning to the dark side as Bran is already doing, and Arya the Assassin too, but the uniting of the Wolf and the Lion all blood feuds forgotten, suggests that there is a redemption arc to play out for the family Stark as well. That's not prevent Jaime Lannister's own redemption arc bringing him to a sword, but perhaps Ice is not going to be physically re-united but metaphorically united in Jaime and Brienne each carrying a part of it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hmm. I like it. We should also remember that Jaime is perfectly poised to be killed/literally resurrected.

I think Ran mentioned that there was a lot more about the SotM that didn't make it into the World books. It may be that it needs to be someone worthy, and not just a Dayne. Obvs it won't be Edric and Darkstar seems to have been passed over.

I know a few here like the idea of Jon as a Dayne so he can be SotM, but I think he's going to take his dark turn and fight for the "other" side... where he is, in fact, a King. Jon's "king" imagery is undeniable, but he's not a Targ. :)

We'd also get a complete flip from the events of Book One. Innocent Bran becomes a force for darkness, and evil Jaime becomes a force for light. And all that.

Anyway, there are only two characters in the novels that I would consider "worthy" of being the SotM, and those are Jaime and Jon. But Jon is of the night, to steal a cheesy line from DS. Black always was his color.

I agree that Jaime's a top contender, especially since he has also had dreams of flaming swords. It's putting me in a tough spot, because it's a notion that's kind of competing with my assumption that a new Lightbringer is going to be reforged in the Riverlands out of the two swords that were melted down from Ice (Oathkeeper, Widow's Wail) and quenched in Catelyn's heart, which just feels like such an appropriate recreation of the Lightbringer mythology to me

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Alternatively... an odd little thought occurred to me about these swords.



I've just introduced elder son to Moorcock and to the demonic blade "Stormbringer" - drinks the souls of those it cuts. Valyrian blades were forged in the daemonic fires of Valyria using magic and no doubt blood as well. Are they intrinsically evil in a way that Dawn is not?


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm partial to the notion that Jaime Lannister will become the Sword of the Morning. Not for his blood, but for his needed skills when the shite hits the fans.

Jaime has absolutely tons of salt/smoke and rebirth imagery, more than anyone else in the novels, I've been on board with Jaime as AA in the past and still consider it totally viable.

It's his dream that makes me believe he'll wield Dawn, that will possibly be split in two just like the "new" Ice was. The pale blue light imagery is undeniable.

I'm not sure it will be split into two pieces. However, my other pet theory is that Dawn is in Winterfell in Lyanna's crypt. Basically, it goes like this: R+L=J. Lyanna bought into the prophecy and believes Jon to be Azor Ahai. Rhaegar discovered that Dawn was the original Lightbringer, which is why (among more obvious reasons) he sent Arthur Dayne with fetus Jon. He wants Lightbringer and Azor Ahai protected together. ToJ happens (which I have another conspiracy involving at least Arthur Dayne still being alive with Ned at the end, but one step at a time). Lyanna makes Ned promise to protect Jon and Dawn. That's also why Ned goes to Starfall to explain why Dawn must be kept at Winterfell (again, this is where the Arthur Dayne living part really would be crucial). Lyanna, despite not being a Lord of Winterfell, is buried in the family crypts with Dawn and probably some evidence of Jon's true parentage.

Now, fast forward to current times, I think that Mance Rayder and the Ghost in Winterfell were sent with the motive of finding Dawn. Mance Rayder was either sent by Melisandre (or because he's actually Arthur Dayne). Melisandre theoretically has finally realized that Jon Snow is who the fires are trying to coax her into believing is Azor Ahai and the likely whereabouts of Dawn (though if Mance = AD, she could come by this information without magic). The Ghost of Winterfell is a member of the Brotherhood without Banners. Quite possibly Beric Dondarrion himself (not the first time a "dead" character would come back and Dondarrion is a vassal of the Daynes). Most likely sent by Thoros of Myr (who always seems to have a better grasp on the true, idealized nature of the Red God than Melisandre) or, again, because his proximity to House Dayne may give him personal knowledge.

Extrapolating from this, the Ghost will recover Dawn and bring it to Thoros. Who is already set to run into Jaime Lannister. Thoros will betray Lady Stoneheart, using Dawn to not only save Jaime's life, but also confirm that he is the fabled Azor Ahai reborn.

Share this post


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

×