Mithras Posted May 3, 2015 Share Posted May 3, 2015 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. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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