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Mel’s Bloody Sin


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Many people think that the cracked old horn found by Jon along with the obsidian cache is the real Horn of Winter and the horn burned by Mel was false.

The Horn of Joramun burst into flame.

It went up with a whoosh as swirling tongues of green and yellow fire leapt up crackling all along its length. Jon’s garron shied nervously, and up and down the ranks others fought to still their mounts as well. A moan came from the stockade as the free folk saw their hope afire. A few began to shout and curse, but most lapsed into silence. For half a heartbeat the runes graven on the gold bands seemed to shimmer in the air. The queen’s men gave a heave and sent the horn tumbling down into the fire pit.

But whether this horn was the Horn of Winter or not, it looked like something really magical. While it was burning, the mounts of the NW were uneasy. And for a moment, the runes graven on the gold bands shimmered in the air, like some magic was activated.

“You need a bigger gate,” Tormund complained to Jon with a sour look up at the sky, where a few clouds had blown in. “Too bloody slow this way. Like sucking the Milkwater through a reed. Har. Would that I had the Horn of Joramun. I’d give it a nice toot and we’d climb through the rubble.”

“Melisandre burned the Horn of Joramun.”

“Did she?” Tormund slapped his thigh and hooted. “She burned that fine big horn, aye. A bloody sin, I call it. A thousand years old, that was. We found it in a giant’s grave, and no man o’ us had ever seen a horn so big. That must have been why Mance got the notion to tell you it were Joramun’s. He wanted you crows to think he had it in his power to blow your bloody Wall down about your knees. But we never found the true horn, not for all our digging. If we had, every kneeler in your Seven Kingdoms would have chunks o’ ice to cool his wine all summer.”

Jon turned in his saddle, frowning. And Joramun blew the Horn of Winter and woke giants from the earth. That huge horn with its bands of old gold, incised with ancient runes … had Mance Rayder lied to him, or was Tormund lying now? If Mance’s horn was just a feint, where is the true horn?

. . .

Two queen’s men brought forth the Horn of Joramun, black and banded with old gold, eight feet long from end to end. Runes were carved into the golden bands, the writing of the First Men. Joramun had died thousands of years ago, but Mance had found his grave beneath a glacier, high up in the Frostfangs. And Joramun blew the Horn of Winter, and woke giants from the earth. Ygritte had told Jon that Mance never found the horn. She lied, or else Mance kept it secret even from his own.

Tormund called the burning of this horn a sin. We will come to that. But why does George try to make us doubt whether the horn was real or not? Who was lying and to whom?

“I’m crying because we never found the Horn of Winter. We opened half a hundred graves and let all those shades loose in the world, and never found the Horn of Joramun to bring this cold thing down!”

. . .

And there were other weapons in the tent, daggers and dirks, a bow and a quiver of arrows, a bronze-headed spear lying beside that big black . . .

. . . horn.

Jon sucked in his breath.

A warhorn, a bloody great warhorn.

“Yes,” Mance said. “The Horn of Winter, that Joramun once blew to wake giants from the earth.”

The horn was huge, eight feet along the curve and so wide at the mouth that he could have put his arm inside up to the elbow. If this came from an aurochs, it was the biggest that ever lived. At first he thought the bands around it were bronze, but when he moved closer he realized they were gold. Old gold, more brown than yellow, and graven with runes.

“Ygritte said you never found the horn.”

“Did you think only crows could lie? I liked you well enough, for a bastard . . . but I never trusted you. A man needs to earn my trust.”

Jon faced him. “If you’ve had the Horn of Joramun all along, why haven’t you used it? Why bother building turtles and sending Thenns to kill us in our beds? If this horn is all the songs say, why not just sound it and be done?”

It was Dalla who answered him, Dalla great with child, lying on her pile of furs beside the brazier. “We free folk know things you kneelers have forgotten. Sometimes the short road is not the safest, Jon Snow. The Horned Lord once said that sorcery is a sword without a hilt. There is no safe way to grasp it.”

. . .

“If I sound the Horn of Winter, the Wall will fall. Or so the songs would have me believe. There are those among my people who want nothing more . . .”

“But once the Wall is fallen,” Dalla said, “what will stop the Others?”

Mance gave her a fond smile. “It’s a wise woman I’ve found. A true queen.” He turned back to Jon. “Go back and tell them to open their gate and let us pass. If they do, I will give them the horn, and the Wall will stand until the end of days.”

Mance plainly told Jon that many of his people wanted nothing more than to blow the horn and bring down the Wall. Tormund later told Jon that if they had the real horn, they would blow it right away.

But the exchange in the tent between Mance/Dalla and Jon sounded very genuine. If Mance had the real horn, he could not have it blown for the reasons Dalla mentioned.

Dalla said that if the Wall falls, they could not hope to stop the Others. And since the horn was a magical device, she said that it was dangerous to blow it because sorcery is a sword without a hilt and there is no way to grasp it safely.

Therefore, perhaps the horn was real but Mance lied to the wildlings about it because if he told them the truth, they would force him to blow it instead of sending men to storm the Wall and die by thousands in the process. Surely, they would instantly choose another king who would blow the horn if they believed that the horn was real and Mance refused to use it.

Maester Aemon paused, washcloth in hand. “The Horn of Winter is an ancient legend. Does the King-beyond-the-Wall truly believe that such a thing exists?”

“They all do,” said Jon. “Ygritte said they opened a hundred graves . . . graves of kings and heroes, all over the valley of the Milkwater, but they never . . .”

Let us have a closer look to the Frostfangs where Mance opened ancient graves to look for the Horn of Joramun.

The countless tribes and clans of the free folk remain worshippers of the old gods of the First Men and children of the forest, the gods of the weirwood trees (some accounts say that there are those who worship different gods: dark gods beneath the ground in the Frostfangs, gods of snow and ice on the Frozen Shore, or crab gods at Storrold’s Point, but such has never been reliably confirmed).

There seems to be a cult of dark gods beneath the ground in Frostfangs. We know a vastly distant place where we also have some sorts of dark gods beneath the ground.

Leng’s history goes back almost as far as that of Yi Ti itself, but little and less of it is known west of the Jade Straits. There are queer ruins in the depths of the island’s jungle: massive buildings, long fallen, and so overgrown that rubble remains above the surface … but underground, we are told, endless labyrinths of tunnels lead to vast chambers , and carved steps descend hundreds of feet into the earth. No man can say who might have built these cities, or when. They remain perhaps the only remnant of some vanished people.

On the southern third of Leng dwell the descendants of those displaced by the invaders from the Golden Empire. The native Lengii are perhaps the tallest of all the known races of mankind, with many men amongst them reaching seven feet in height, and some as tall as eight. Long-legged and slender, with flesh the color of oiled teak, they have large golden eyes and can supposedly see farther and better than other men, especially at night. Though formidably tall, the women of the Lengii are famously lithe and lovely, of surpassing beauty.

It was mariners from the Golden Empire who opened Leng to trade, yet even then the island remained a perilous place for outsiders, for the Empress of Leng was known to have congress with the Old Ones, gods who lived deep below the ruined subterranean cities, and from time to time the Old Ones told her to put all the strangers on the island to death. This is known to have happened at least four times in the island’s history if Colloquo Votar’s Jade Compendium can be believed.

Legends persist that the Old Ones still live beneath the jungle of Leng. So many of the warriors that Jar Har sent down below the ruins returned mad or not at all that the god-emperor finally decreed the vast underground cities’ ruins should be sealed up and forgotten. Even today, it is forbidden to enter such places, under penalty of torture and death.

In Leng, there are Old Ones living in the subterranean cities and they are the equivalents of dark gods living beneath the ground, considering that they require sacrifices. The native Lengii have unique features that suggest that they were descended from the Old Ones themselves. Their golden eyes see better in the dark, which is naturally expected from a race living beneath the ground. Another interesting feature of the native Lengii is that they are strangely beautiful.

Both of these traits (dark beauty and night vision with golden eyes) are typical to the CotF. However, the native Lengii are extremely tall at the same time. So, perhaps the Old Ones as their ancestors have giant blood in them as well. After all, their endless underground cities and labyrinths suggest a strong familiarity with the mazemakers of Lorath and they left some bones suggesting that they were most probably a hybrid race of humans and giants.

Therefore, the Old Ones seem to be a hybrid race of giants and the CotF and they have the magic/technology to build complex underground cities.

Coming back to the Frostfangs, I think there are a lot of reasons to suspect that the residents of Old Ones lived there (and maybe still living).

First of all, the giant horn itself suggests that it belonged to a race as big as giants but considering that the race had warhorns and an advanced culture to build such graves atop mountains, they should be different than the giants.

Second, one of the passages to the Frostfangs is called the Giant’s Stair.

Third, there is this tale of Old Nan:

In Old Nan’s stories, giants were outsized men who lived in colossal castles, fought with huge swords, and walked about in boots a boy could hide in. These were something else, more bearlike than human, and as wooly as the mammoths they rode. Seated, it was hard to say how big they truly were. Ten feet tall maybe, or twelve, Jon thought. Maybe fourteen, but no taller. Their sloping chests might have passed for those of men, but their arms hung down too far, and their lower torsos looked half again as wide as their upper. Their legs were shorter than their arms, but very thick, and they wore no boots at all; their feet were broad splayed things, hard and horny and black. Neckless, their huge heavy heads thrust forward from between their shoulder blades, and their faces were squashed and brutal. Rats’ eyes no larger than beads were almost lost within folds of horny flesh, but they snuffled constantly, smelling as much as they saw.

They’re not wearing skins, Jon realized. That’s hair. Shaggy pelts covered their bodies, thick below the waist, sparser above. The stink that came off them was choking, but perhaps that was the mammoths. And Joramun blew the Horn of Winter, and woke giants from the earth. He looked for great swords ten feet long, but saw only clubs. Most were just the limbs of dead trees, some still trailing shattered branches. A few had stone balls lashed to the ends to make colossal mauls.

Obviously, the giants Jon saw were not the giants in Old Nan’s tales. The people described in the tales of Old Nan look much more advanced than the giants, considering that they wear boots, know sword making, can build castles etc. The Old Ones fit this description save for the fact that their colossal castles are beneath the ground.

Therefore, I bet there are underground mazes and cities in the Frostfangs and Old Ones might be still living there. It is possible that even the remaining CotF might not be aware of their existence.

If Joramun was one of the Old Ones, his horn might have the magic to move the earth and shape the stones which should be how the Old Ones built their underground cities.

Even the snowcapped northernmost peaks (known as Krazaaj Zasqa or White Mountains in the Dothraki tongue), where the cold winds come howling off the Shivering Sea winter and summer, were once home to the Jhogwin, the stone giants, massive creatures said to have been twice as large as the giants of Westeros. Alas, the last of the Jhogwin disappeared a thousand years ago; only their massive bones remain to mark where they once roamed.

Legend claims that it was the Jogos Nhai, led by the jhattar—the jhat of jhats and war leader of the whole people— Gharak Squint-Eye, who slew the last of the stone giants of Jhogwin at the Battle in the Howling Hills.

The stone giants are another possible race for the residents of Frostfangs in the forgotten history. Frostfangs has a similar climate to the Howling Hills. Although we do not know how advanced were these stone giants or were they ever in Westeros, we can bet that they did because we have the tale of Argoth.

MARIS THE MAID, the Most Fair, whose beauty was so renowned that fifty lords vied for her hand at the first tourney ever to be held in Westeros. (The victor was the Grey Giant, Argoth Stone-Skin, but Maris wed King Uthor of the High Tower before he could claim her, and Argoth spent the rest of his days raging outside the walls of Oldtown, roaring for his bride.)

I have some reasons to believe that Grey King, the legendary ancestor of many ironborn nobility, was Argoth Stone-Skin and he was either a giant, or one of the Old Ones or the Joghwin.

I also have some reasons to believe that the Old Ones and their underground cities were built specifically to be able to withstand dragon attacks, which means they were enemies to the fire and dragons (which were most probably created by the Great Empire of the Dawn in Asshai to colonize the world). So, is it possible that the stone giants atop their mountain holdfasts were evolved specifically to withstand dragonfire by probably thick, stone skins?

So, was greyscale a disease bio-engineered (i.e. magically created) by the enemies of the dragonriders? Or did they turn to stone giants after they did the ritual to create the disease? With their stone skins, they should be naturally immune to greyscale whereas the dragons and their riders might be dying to it steadily. Val said that greyscale is powerful beyond the Wall. Is it because of the presence of the creators of that disease? I know that many people take the beginning of greyscale with the Curse of Garin. But there is no reason to believe that it was created for the first time at that point of the history, similar to how the dragons were not created and used by the Valyrians to enslave and dominate other races.

Coming back to the “bloody sin” of Mel.

I don’t think Tormund knew what he was really talking about but that is generally George’s way, i.e. to reveal important details through the mouths of characters who do not know what they are talking about.

We know that the Old Ones are powerful and unforgiving. Burning the horn of one of their own is a really serious offense on Mel’s part. She also cut down at least one weirwood tree and forced the believers of the Old Gods to feed it to her fires. She is offending the Faith as well. She declared the Seven as false gods even at the Wall.

Therefore, Mel is unknowingly offending really powerful entities. It seems that something is intervening with her fire visions. After her POV, she seemed quite upset and distraught due to her visions. She is unable to see Stannis.

If greyscale is a magical disease, then the survivors of greyscale should also be magically spared by the creators of that disease and hence marked-chosen-blessed by them. Therefore, if (when) Mel tries to burn Shireen, it will be another great offense to the Old Ones or stone giants.

Perhaps that will be the final straw and the Old Ones will break the Wall to let the Others pass and wipe out these invading and blasphemous fire worshippers.

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That's some great theory you have got there and gives new food for thought.

So if there are entire castles and buildings underneath where the Old Ones live,do you think that they are waiting for some signal to be awakened?

I mean,if they truly exist at Frostfangs and White Walkers are gathering and readying for the attack on the Wall,could it be possible that Old Gods (presumably Bloodraven and Bran) are gonna mobilize all these forces under one banner to avenge all these atrocities done by men?

I just have suspicion that when Children of the Forest made a pact with Last Hero (who I suspect to be Bran the Builder),they agreed to call back White Walkers and lock them away beyond some line (which will further become the Wall) as long as humans will abide and honor Old Gods and the nature itself.

Probably the sayings like "there must always be a Stark (Bran the Builder's descendants) in Winterfell" and "Starks manned the Wall for thousands of years" are part of this pact as well.

First Men honored this pact for a long time,but after Andal invasion and thousands of years passing by humans started to forget this arrangement, and true purpose of the Wall and White Walkers got forgotten. The Wall,I believe,is a pact agreement between nature and men,and if you violate it,Winter is coming!

THAT is true purpose of Night's Watch as well,to foresee that this pact is not violated and no men is allowed to cross the Wall and usurp the lands of giants,Children and WWs,because if they do and anger Old Gods, nature will wipe out all humans with winter.

Even their vows confirm this if you look at it from this perspective. Watchers are kind of emissaries of men to the forces of nature,but they forgot it with time, and more dishonorable men are joining the ranks,which probably angers Old Gods.

I just think that Bloodraven as former Lord Commander of the Wall came upon the realization of true purpose of the Wall,WWs and Children with his First Men blood and greenseeing abilities and now he is grooming Stark children to rediscover these roots they have with Old Gods dating back to Bran the Builder and lead forces of winter against humans who violated this pact.

Bran is personally groomed by Bloodraven to probably take his place and to restore balance of nature with men,but the only way Bran can do it is to remind men of the pact which was agreed upon thousands of years ago. To remind people of that he needs to unleash a winter that is going to be remembered for generations.

He probably also sees humans in the South kneeling to dragons and Daenerys once she arrives (he is a greenseer after all),so he needs to show men that she and her dragons are a threat to the nature and balance. To counter her and dragons,again,he needs to unleash the winter.

But the problem is,Bran cannot lead these forces of nature and winter (White Walkers,Old Ones as described in this thread and other supernatural beings) as well as those men who are still true to Old Gods (Northmen and wildlings mostly) on the battlefield,because he is a cripple and not a good leader,so he needs another person who can lead winter forces and who also will have some secret weapon against dragons. Enter Jon Snow.

He is a Stark by blood,therefore eligible to lead ice forces (and his whole Lord Commander plot was to groom him for leadership,I have no doubt Bloodraven has foreseen it and knew Jon needed to go through all this process).

But he is also a Targaryen,so his dragonlord blood will give him extra weapon to defeat and tame Daenerys' dragons on the battlefield. Especially Drogon,who I presume will need both Jon's warging skills as well as his Targaryen blood to tame him. Drogon' taming process will be crucial part of evidence to the whole "I am a true son of Rhaegar and a heir of Iron Throne" to Dany,especially her beforehand experiences with fAegon. You can see why she would be wary.

In the end,Jon will be acknowledged as a king by all parties involved,both ice and fire,and THAT is why he is The Prince That Was Promised. He was not promised only to men,he is sent by Old Gods themselves,by Mother Nature itself,and he will be acknowledged by Dany and her dragons as well. He is the ultimate "Song of Ice and Fire".

And I actually don't believe Jon to take Targaryen name,he was never a Targaryen in the story,he is a true Northman and raised by Eddard. Therefore I believe him to stay Jon Stark,King of Winter and Seven Kingdoms (Robb's will legitimazies him as Stark, and when he will be proven to be legitimate Son of Rhaegar,he will choose to take his mother's name instead I believe,he will have that choice). Starks are the family chosen by Old Gods,not Targaryens,and Jon will remind everyone of this fact.

The wolf pack needs to stay together during winter,so I believe Bran to be a catalyst for the whole reunion of Stark siblings. Arya and Sansa will have a CRUCIAL task of protecting Jon and his Queen (I believe to be Dany) of any kind of threats like she-wolves they are. One will take Littlefinger's role and plot machinations and schemes,but for the GOOD of the realm and royal family,while the other will be new Varys and have her spy network across the kingdom to protect King and his wife with all her training and warging.

Rickon will be Lord of Winterfell and allow wildlings to assimilate in the North faster,since he spent lots of time in Skagos and can relate to them. Bran will remain the emissary of the Old Gods and probably stay in Winterfell with Meera and visit the weirwood tree his father used to frequent.

Now some people speculated that Tyrion and Sansa to become King and Queen,and I still can see that,but not officially. I just don't see GRRM sparing Jon and Dany for too long after final battle,it is not his style,therefore potential kids of Jon will be groomed and raised by Tyrion (Lord of Casterly Rock and LP of Westerlands

) and Sansa (Lady of Harrenhal and LP of Riverlands) as Lord and Lady Protectors till they can rule on their own.

And I believe Arya will be in charge of protecting Jon's kids being new Mistress of Whisperers and eliminating potential threats for the crown.

All in all,I can see Starks to be the dominant dynasty in the end,because they will be backed up by Old Gods and nature itself, and maybe a new Wall will be built in the place of the old one with Jorah taking Longclaw back from Jon and becoming Lord Commander like his father wanted to. Who knows?

I have other thoughts on what other characters will survive,but that's the way story is unfolding in my eyes, and I definitely see Stark children and Tyrion surviving the series. Everyone else I am doubtful,but I would LOVE Jaime to stay Lord Commander of Kingsguard with Podrick as his squire or maybe even member of Kingsguard lol.

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“Here, they are,” said Osha, as she bit off the end of the last bandage with her teeth. “North of the Wall, things are different. That’s where the children went , and the giants, and the other old races.”

What are those other old races?


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One thing that leaps ti mind is that the last of the Jhogwin are said to have dcied a thousand years ago, and thats about when Garin's curse occurred. So if the greyscale creates stone giants, isn't wasn't the Jhogwin. I do think there may be somehtingto the idea of greyscale being an immunity to dragon flame, or even Otherization, but i don't really have an opinion having not looked into it.

I do however think you're right that there is another kind of giant out there that does build and wear boots etc etc. These COULD be giant - human hybrids, like the early Umbers perhaps, or like the Lorathi may be. That would explain the signs of advanced culture lacking in our 14 foot giants in the story. But certainly the Jhogwin show us that there are other types of giants. I buy the general idea that norther Essos used to have similar flora and fauna and in many cases culture in common with each other before the breaking of the arm and the rise of man. There's just so many things in common.. and the mammoths on IB are a strong sign the stories of giants there are truthful. I know you've done some interesting speculation about the now extinct Hairy Men that were killed by the Sarnori and Dothraki who were bigger than the remaining hairy men of Ib. Specifically, you had the idea that they were the original half breeds of giants and human, or something like that.

Ibbenese culture itself seems to once have been richer and more advanced that it is, and their advanced seafaring skill is impressive. They could very well be the stunted survivors of these intelligent giant men that used to exist.

Th descriptions of loath underground maze cities and the underground cities of Leng match very closely. The Old Ones seem like a tall elf equivalent to the CotF, but ones that like to build with stone somehow. The Lengi are tall and lithe and beautiful, they really don't have anything in common with hairy men or hairy giants. That's the problem with drawing a connection between Lorath and Leng - they are so far, and Lengi don't look like anyone in that part of the world. But just the name "Old Ones" creams cotf or something like them, to me. The golden eyes are a give away. Old ones must be similar to cotf. I mean, the warlock trees are the opposite of weirwoods. I guess you could say the warlocks are kind of like twisted versions of greenseers, but not really elves like the cotf. The cotf may have an equivalent, and I'd expect them to be the tall elves.

"Nissa"meanshelpful eland well as grandmother moon, so I've wondered about the possibility of Nissa Nissa being a cotf. But Azor Ahai, being in Asshai, was hard to connect to a cotf. But whats interesting is now that we know Azor Ahai was also called the Bloodstone Empreror, we know a bit more about our busy with the red sword. He usurped the throne of the "God Emperor," and here on the "Holy" Isle of Leng, they have a tradition of a "God-Empress." If the Lengi are part Old Ones, then perhaps the god emperor marries the god empress by tradition, and that explains how Nissa Nissa was indeed an elf. A helpful elf.

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We are not exactly told whether the Others bring the cold or the Others come when the cold comes. So, perhaps the Long Night happened and after that the Others evolved to exploit the conditions favoring them. That means the humans living in terrible Long Night conditions resorted to dark magic to survive and evolved to become the Others. This idea was given in the World Book in a different manner.

Archmaester Fomas’s Lies of the Ancients— though little regarded these days for its erroneous claims regarding the founding of Valyria and certain lineal claims in the Reach and westerlands— does speculate that the Others of legend were nothing more than a tribe of the First Men, ancestors of the wildlings, that had established itself in the far north. Because of the Long Night, these early wildlings were then pressured to begin a wave of conquests to the south. That they became monstrous in the tales told thereafter, according to Fomas, reflects the desire of the Night’s Watch and the Starks to give themselves a more heroic identity as saviors of mankind, and not merely the beneficiaries of a struggle over dominion.

I think Otherization is a disease/curse sort of thing, similar to vampirism in Fevre Dream. And note that there were some good vampires who were trying to find a cure to heal the blood addiction in that story. And they too had a messiah myth. Their leader, Joshua the Pale King was destined to free them from dependence on hunting humans for blood. And of course, Joshua had an evil vampire antagonist who was trying to destroy Joshua's efforts.

Bloodstone Emperor married a tiger-woman for his bride. Leng is the island of tigers and monkeys. So, his tiger-woman bride should be a hybrid creature from Leng. And note that a woman with a monkey tail (again from Leng) was instrumental in ending the Long Night according to the legends.

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