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Heresy 170

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Welcome to Heresy 170, this week’s edition of the lively thread which tries to take a thoughtful, often sideways and sometimes irreverent look at the Song of Ice and Fire.



If new to the game, don’t be intimidated by the size and scope of Heresy, or by some of the ideas we’ve discussed or might have discussed here over the years since the thread began way back in 2011. This is very much a come as you are thread with no previous experience required. 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



Heresy is not of itself a theory and heretics do not take and hold a particular stance on issues, or even agree with each other most of the time, but instead it’s a free-flowing and above all a friendly series of open discussions and arguments, usually concerned with the Wall, the Otherlands which lie beyond; warging, skinchanging, greenseeing, the old gods, the children and the white walkers - and the possible Stark connection to both.



GRRM’s original synopsis from 1993, [transcribed below as usual] emphasises that the story is followed through five related story arcs, not one. Clearly the script has 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 father, far less a return of the king scenario 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 group is that it reflects this diversity. This is a thread where ideas can be discussed – and argued – freely, 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’s Heart of Darkness, Susannah Clarke’s Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, CS Lewis’ Narnia, and so many others all to the way to the Táin Bó Cúailnge and the Mabinogion; it’s about history [and especially 1189] It’s about mythology, archaeology, ringworks and chambered tombs and even 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.



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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.

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Yes the articles with Kit & Weiss is the *new* information pertaining to heresy and most of the end game theories. These theories all seem in doubt now. For the record the mummers version certainly deviates BUT D&D have stated the end is the same and they will get to key moments from the last 2 books. This was explicitly outlined by Benioff at the Oxford forum before this season. I'm really struggling with the logic of keeping John dead in the mummers version while he's alive/reanimated in the books. That does not make sense. So I'm supposed to believe that all of the build up of his character through 5 books/seasons was just to reiterate that he made the same honor/political mistakes as Ned and is dead and done? This does not make sense.





"Oh, you think he's dead do you?" GRRM


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From R+L=J version 140, page #11:



http://asoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/topic/128029-rlj-v140/page-11




Regarding my Theory that Jon will Warg Ghost, but when he takes human form again (as Mel's vision implies), he will be utilizing Hodor as his primary (host) body...



Perhaps you guys, girls & even robots like sj4iy will think that I am a little less crazy if I can place Jon Snow & Hodor at the same time & place in TWoW... I will attempt that below...



Point #1:


  1. GRRM said that we would get a POV character in the Heart of Winter, and what better book to do that in than The Winds of Winter?
  2. In AGoTs, Jon Snow promised Tyrion that if Benjin Stark did not return, that "Ghost & I will go find him (Benjin)"... Given that Jon will be warged into Ghost, Jon was being very literal when he said "Ghost & I" will go find him...

I think GRRM will kill two birds with one stone, If Benjin is @ the Heart of Winter, then we get our Heart of Winter POV & Ghost/Jon finds Benjin all in the same chapter (or three). I can't give exact quotations & whatnot, but there is a ton of foreshadowing that suggest that Ghost & Val will be spending a lot of time together behind the wall in TWoW. I think Val will be Ghost/Jon's guide to the Heart of Winter. Val has already proven capable of rangings that are thought to be impossible by most (& with a 1/2 blind horse at that. If anyone knows how to find the Heart of Winter, it is Val.



Jon will find not only find Benjin, but he will obviously learn some useful knowledge about the Others - Probably that Benjin either Is an Other or that he is well on his way to becoming an Other. This is because "The Cold Hell reserved for the Starks of Winterfell" that Ned ponders on AGoTs is located in The Heart of Winter.



Ghost/Jon will not get along with these Others & he will exit The Heart of Winter on bad terms...



Point #2 (Note, This may seem far removed from previous point, but it will all come together):



When Jojen & Meera first came to Winterfell, after swearing their oath, Meera immediately says "Where are the direwolves? My Brother would like to see them." Little Walder replied "Best be sure that they don't see him, or else they are like to take a bite out of him!" Bran finally left the great Hall, went to bed & had a wolf dream.



Bran was inside of Summer, in the Gods Wood. The Direwolves were growling @ the Reeds. Meera mentions how large they are & Jojen says they they will get much much bigger. Meera was very leery & fingering her knife blade & telling Jojen to be careful, but Jojen only said "Relax Sister, this is not the day I die." NOTE:: Jojen repeated "this is not the day I die" when confronted by Direwolves for a 2nd time in the very next Bran Chapter... When GRRM repeats something to the reader, the reader should take note...



Jojen's statement, "this is not the day I die" has always struck me as rather curious. Also worth noting is that Jojen can't possibly have seen a full grown direwolf before, yet he knows that they will get much, much larger... We later learn that Jojen has Green Dreams. Jojen knows how large they will get because he has seen a fully grown direwolf in his Green Dreams. This is why Jojen says "this is not the day I die." because Jojen has seen his own death in his dreams. Jojen knows how he will die. He knows that he will be eaten by a direwolf, and he has clearly shared this information with his sister.



Meera is frightened because she thinks that this might be the day that he dies, but Jojen is not frightened at all, he is confident... Why? Because he is looking at a Black Direwolf & a Grey Direwolf; and he knows that it is a white wolf that will eat him...



Fast Forward to ADWDs. Jojen is depressed, & he mopes around, wondering endlessly through the caves because he has accepted his fate... This means that Jojen knows that this cave is where he will meet his end... or where he will meet a white direwolf, shall we say...



Point #3:


About 1.5 to 2.0 years ago GRRM did an interview where he told the reader that he was working on TWoW... I'll Paraphrase... GRRM was quoted saying "You have Jon Snow, running through the forrest, pursued by enemies. He is hungry. What is he going to eat? What is my next sentence? What is my next word?"



Many, if not most people who read this interview took this as a hypothetical situation that GRRM quickly thought up during the interview to use as a generic example. However, that is not the way GRRM works. In GRRM-Land, nothing is said that does not boast one or more meanings. In this case, GRRM was really & truly describing a scenario/scene that takes place in TWOW - He was not hypothetically speaking.



Point #4:


ColdHands tells Bran that the Cave they are trying to reach does have a "backdoor" that is a couple of miles away & it can be found at the bottom of a sink-hole... Note: GRRM does not give random information like this unless the reader will at some point see someone or something of significance fall down that sink-hole. I think everyone will agree on this point.


Conclusion (Putting it all together):


Ghost Jon is returning from the Heart of Winter, armed with new truths about the Starks, the Others, and their relationship. But Ghost/Jon has been traveling in the barren, frozen wastelands of the Lands of Always Winter for weeks & he has not eaten - He is starving to death... Ghost Jon has made it as far South as the Northern edge of the Haunted Forrest. To complicate matters, the Others &/or Wights are in hot pursuit, chasing Ghost/Jon through the forrest. Just when he is on the verge of being taken/captured/killed, the snow gives way under under his paws & he falls into a sink-hole & spills into a large room that appears to be part of a cave network - a cave network that happens to be warded against Ghost/Jon's pursuers. Realizing that he is now safe, Ghost/Jon chances across a small, depressed boy who is wondering around the caverns... Jon Snow Kills & Eats Jojen Reed...



All of these clues fit together far too well not to be right...



This places Jon Snow in very near proximity to Bran, The 3-Eyed-Crow, & yes Hodor... Now if Jon Snow could just find a means out of his 2nd life in Ghost, then he could 'Take' Hodor & be the strongest man in Westeros (with a member larger that Tormund's)...



After all, Hodor has been thoroughly 'broken in' to skinchanging by Bran. GRRM explained in ADWDs that a skinchanged animal is much like a horse that has been broken in to one rider - It is not difficult for a 2nd rider to come along and ride him... This means that Jon will find a means of taking Hodor's Body...





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I'm trying to find references to one quote, regarding Ned's dream before Robert's death. I'm pretty sure it was discussed in Heresies before, but I don't remember the outcome. Here is the quote:





He was walking through the crypts beneath Winterfell, as he had walked a thousand times before. The Kings of Winter watched him pass with eyes of ice, and the direwolves at their feet turned their great stone heads and snarled. Last of all, he came to the tomb where his father slept, with Brandon and Lyanna beside him. "Promise me, Ned," Lyanna's statue whispered. She wore a garland of pale blue roses, and her eyes wept blood.




Eyes of ice are quite clear from heretic point of view: winter, Others, and stuff. Lyanna's eyes are not icy, they are weeping with blood. There are different possible meanings one can usually find in other books, when you have person weeping blood. I wonder what possible meaning we may have here. Does anyone remember such discussion or have any thoughts? My personal take is that this should somehow signify her state before death, but I don't have clear view yet.


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I'm trying to find references to one quote, regarding Ned's dream before Robert's death. I'm pretty sure it was discussed in Heresies before, but I don't remember the outcome. Here is the quote:

Eyes of ice are quite clear from heretic point of view: winter, Others, and stuff. Lyanna's eyes are not icy, they are weeping with blood. There are different possible meanings one can usually find in other books, when you have person weeping blood. I wonder what possible meaning we may have here. Does anyone remember such discussion or have any thoughts? My personal take is that this should somehow signify her state before death, but I don't have clear view yet.

Lyanna died from Red Death, Rhaegar kidnapped and isolated her in a distant tower as a quarantine measure. Tower of Joy "mystery" solved.

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I'm trying to find references to one quote, regarding Ned's dream before Robert's death. I'm pretty sure it was discussed in Heresies before, but I don't remember the outcome. Here is the quote:

Eyes of ice are quite clear from heretic point of view: winter, Others, and stuff. Lyanna's eyes are not icy, they are weeping with blood. There are different possible meanings one can usually find in other books, when you have person weeping blood. I wonder what possible meaning we may have here. Does anyone remember such discussion or have any thoughts? My personal take is that this should somehow signify her state before death, but I don't have clear view yet.

An interesting one which I have to admit had escaped me. It does rather suggest not just ordinary grief - or death in childbirth come to that - but something more violent. It seems a pretty common sorth of motif for a murdered individual

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I'm trying to find references to one quote, regarding Ned's dream before Robert's death. I'm pretty sure it was discussed in Heresies before, but I don't remember the outcome. Here is the quote:

Eyes of ice are quite clear from heretic point of view: winter, Others, and stuff. Lyanna's eyes are not icy, they are weeping with blood. There are different possible meanings one can usually find in other books, when you have person weeping blood. I wonder what possible meaning we may have here. Does anyone remember such discussion or have any thoughts? My personal take is that this should somehow signify her state before death, but I don't have clear view yet.

I think it may be a link to the old gods as the Weirwood trees are often shown to have eyes that look like they are bleeding.

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Sorry I can't quote it properly, but here it goes:

"I'm trying to find references to one quote, regarding Ned's dream before Robert's death. I'm pretty sure it was discussed in Heresies before, but I don't remember the outcome. Here is the quote:

Quote

He was walking through the crypts beneath Winterfell, as he had walked a thousand times before. The Kings of Winter watched him pass with eyes of ice, and the direwolves at their feet turned their great stone heads and snarled. Last of all, he came to the tomb where his father slept, with Brandon and Lyanna beside him. "Promise me, Ned," Lyanna's statue whispered. She wore a garland of pale blue roses, and her eyes wept blood."

In the Christian religion, weeping statues are often connected to the Virgin Mary (which reminded me now of The Maid and The Mother figures in the religion of the seven in SoIF). These phenomenon is frequently accompanied by the scent of roses or flowers too, and this again has to do with Lyanna. I'm not sure what this means, since the Starks follow the Old Gods, not the new, but to me the connection is there.

Also, I found an entry on a website on tv tropes stating this: "Along these lines, statuary or paintings doing this can mean someone present is utterly evil (if the items are holy relics) or that the item itself is an Artifact of Doom. With the second flavour, it means the item is a holy relic that's "manifesting" itself this way in response to some tragedy/holiness, whether of its own or those present."

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I'm trying to find references to one quote, regarding Ned's dream before Robert's death. I'm pretty sure it was discussed in Heresies before, but I don't remember the outcome. Here is the quote:

Eyes of ice are quite clear from heretic point of view: winter, Others, and stuff. Lyanna's eyes are not icy, they are weeping with blood. There are different possible meanings one can usually find in other books, when you have person weeping blood. I wonder what possible meaning we may have here. Does anyone remember such discussion or have any thoughts? My personal take is that this should somehow signify her state before death, but I don't have clear view yet.

I think it may be a link to the old gods as the Weirwood trees are often shown to have eyes that look like they are bleeding.

I think redrose is closest to the mark here. In-verse we have that imagery of the blood like sap from the very beginning. She has been claimed by the old gods or she was sacrificed for their sake or that she was the embodiment of Starkness?

However, Black Crow's comment about it being common in victims of violent death is interesting because the statue is also wearing a garland of blue roses. If as Wolfmaid has argued that garland was indeed an insult to house Stark then the significance of her wearing it, weeping blood and saying Promise me Ned could take on the meaning of Avenge me.

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Also, I found an entry on a website on tv tropes stating this: "Along these lines, statuary or paintings doing this can mean someone present is utterly evil (if the items are holy relics) or that the item itself is an Artifact of Doom. With the second flavour, it means the item is a holy relic that's "manifesting" itself this way in response to some tragedy/holiness, whether of its own or those present."

The passage does have a "cursed" quality to it--always reminds me of Fall of the House of Usher (just vaguely).

But regarding the violence or tragedy surrounding Lyanna's death--Theon's dream where Lyanna comes in wearing a dress spattered with gore. I've seen that interpreted as childbirth, but I don't by it. I agree with Wolfmaid's take over on the "Lyanna at ToJ isn't Canon" thread--"spattered with gore" is not consistent with the descriptions of childbirth in the novel (that we have so far). That seems to be violence.

Throw in the bleeding eyes--could easily be something more than just the childbirth is being referenced.

I think it may be a link to the old gods as the Weirwood trees are often shown to have eyes that look like they are bleeding.

Yes--so, does that mean Lyanna is somehow being tied to a sacrifice?

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@ Sly Wren



I think the discussion of Kublai Khan was somewhere in the H80s like 82 or 83. I'm not too sure on the number but I do remember it was Evita mfgs that brought it up and it was around Thanksgiving of 2013.



Don't remember how deep it went though because it was also about the time we were talking about Greek Mythology.



Hope that helps


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The passage does have a "cursed" quality to it--always reminds me of Fall of the House of Usher (just vaguely).

But regarding the violence or tragedy surrounding Lyanna's death--Theon's dream where Lyanna comes in wearing a dress spattered with gore. I've seen that interpreted as childbirth, but I don't by it. I agree with Wolfmaid's take over on the "Lyanna at ToJ isn't Canon" thread--"spattered with gore" is not consistent with the descriptions of childbirth in the novel (that we have so far). That seems to be violence.

Throw in the bleeding eyes--could easily be something more than just the childbirth is being referenced.

Yes--so, does that mean Lyanna is somehow being tied to a sacrifice?

I don't know about sacrifice. The weirwood eyes are suggestive but I rather had this in mind: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cruentation

That's not to suggest that Ned Stark murdered his sister, but does suggest that she is crying out to him for vengeance and recalls my old joke:

"Promise me Ned, promise me that bastard Rhaegar died screaming..."

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I'm trying to find references to one quote, regarding Ned's dream before Robert's death. I'm pretty sure it was discussed in Heresies before, but I don't remember the outcome. Here is the quote:

Eyes of ice are quite clear from heretic point of view: winter, Others, and stuff. Lyanna's eyes are not icy, they are weeping with blood. There are different possible meanings one can usually find in other books, when you have person weeping blood. I wonder what possible meaning we may have here. Does anyone remember such discussion or have any thoughts? My personal take is that this should somehow signify her state before death, but I don't have clear view yet.

Missed this nice catch!! I know of 3 "blood weeping girl/lady" vengeful Ghost stories. One is La Llorona and she actually drowns her children and kills herself after what she did.She was wronged by a lover and decided to spite him she was going to kill his children and herself.

The other is Japanese Onryo i spell it like it sounds,but she was a young girl who was played a bad trick on by a guy who she thought was nice to her and she killed herself and returned to take revenge on douchebags

The other is fiction and is from a 1976 movie that we all know...Carrie and she wasn't a Ghost but she was very creepy.

The crux is a young woman who was wronged in life seeking revenge for that wrong.

An interesting one which I have to admit had escaped me. It does rather suggest not just ordinary grief - or death in childbirth come to that - but something more violent. It seems a pretty common sorth of motif for a murdered individual

Yeah agree,i would add in addition to murder,suicide as well.

I think redrose is closest to the mark here. In-verse we have that imagery of the blood like sap from the very beginning. She has been claimed by the old gods or she was sacrificed for their sake or that she was the embodiment of Starkness?

However, Black Crow's comment about it being common in victims of violent death is interesting because the statue is also wearing a garland of blue roses. If as Wolfmaid has argued that garland was indeed an insult to house Stark then the significance of her wearing it, weeping blood and saying Promise me Ned could take on the meaning of Avenge me.

I sincerly believe the Crown was a mockery of Lyanna as a virgin. Black Crow's little jape about "promise me that Rhaegar died screaming" is not only plausible but i think its part of what happened.Rhaegar was a douche on that day and took things a bit to far.

The passage does have a "cursed" quality to it--always reminds me of Fall of the House of Usher (just vaguely).

But regarding the violence or tragedy surrounding Lyanna's death--Theon's dream where Lyanna comes in wearing a dress spattered with gore. I've seen that interpreted as childbirth, but I don't by it. I agree with Wolfmaid's take over on the "Lyanna at ToJ isn't Canon" thread--"spattered with gore" is not consistent with the descriptions of childbirth in the novel (that we have so far). That seems to be violence.

Throw in the bleeding eyes--could easily be something more than just the childbirth is being referenced.

Yes--so, does that mean Lyanna is somehow being tied to a sacrifice?

Yeah i'm in agreement, i'm not sure about a sacrifice but i think its possible she was murdered or pulled an honor killing(which she could have done herself or asked a loved to do for her) and asked for vengence with her dying words.

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@ Sly Wren

I think the discussion of Kublai Khan was somewhere in the H80s like 82 or 83. I'm not too sure on the number but I do remember it was Evita mfgs that brought it up and it was around Thanksgiving of 2013.

Don't remember how deep it went though because it was also about the time we were talking about Greek Mythology.

Hope that helps

@sly wren.. Please go on about Kublai Khan

The show marco polo on netflix was pretty good.

Actually only tangentially tied to either of these--Coleridge did read plenty of Greek myth. And the poem is based on a historical description of an garden built by Kublai Khan. So, I won't be remotely offended if you find the following to be drivel.

Am thinking two things re: Coleridge:

Thing One. Leaf clearly references Coleridge's poem when she talks about the caverns that even the Children haven't fully explored and that lead down to a sunless sea. Coleridge's language: "Where Alph, the sacred river, ran / Through caverns measureless to man / Down to a sunless sea."

Based in part on Lord Ravenstark's point on previous thread re: Bloodraven seeing darkness as power, am wondering if Martin is portraying the "caverns measureless to man" as the source of BR's power. Maybe even the "cauldron" (to really mix the metaphors) which is potentially producing wights. In the poem, the sacred river flows through a walled garden (full of holy trees) through a chasm in the earth: "A savage place! as holy and enchanted / as e'er beneath a waning moon was haunted/ by woman wailing for her demon lover."

19th century poetry language aside, the chasm forces up a fountain--imagery ties it to "seed" but it's also stone. Screws up the "sacred river" in some way. So when the sacred river finally reaches the "caverns measureless to man" to sink into the sunless sea: "And mid this tumult Kubla heard from far / ancestral voices prophesying war."

All of this is built by Kubla Kahn: "a miracle of rare device. A sunny pleasure dome with caves of ice."

Coleridge's poem is more symbol than argument. And he was on a LOT of opium. Plus, as I said on the previous thread, am not sure if Leaf is just warning Bran and the Scoobies to stay out of the scary caverns. But the theory that the cave might be tied to the production of all the Winter--Maritn's clear use of Coleridge's imagery from a highly anthologized poem seems to support the theory.

Thing Two: Back to the psyche of Bloodraven. Were debating just how Kurtz-y he actually is. Would argue that with the Coleridge reference, Martin may also be saying that BR is the brilliant, misunderstood visionary--which is how Coleridge's speaker portrays himself. Coleridge says that if he as poet was inspired by song and actually built the sunny dome with caves of ice, he would be both revered and dreaded, isolated and protected: "weave a circle round him thrice, and close your eyes with holy dread, for he on honeydew hath fed, and drunk the milk of paradise."

Fits with Coldhands' calling BR a dreamer, with BR's insistence on the rarity of greenseers, and with Leaf's language. Plus all the fear of the poet-prophet in Coleridge's poem could tie in with the question of whether or not all the Children agree with BR's ideas or if this clan is different, following the "true" idea.

Bottom line: I like BR as Kurtz. But also like him as the isolated visionary, caught up in his own brilliance. Fits with the quote Ravenstark brought up re: BR saying the darkness is power: he's misunderstood. Must work in darkness. Only he has figured out how to marry the power of the sun and the ice--etc.

Sum Up: As I said, Coleridge's poem is more symbol than argument. So might just be imagery Martin is playing with. But might point to other things, too.

Here's the text of the poem if you want to take a look, or refresh your memory from high school. And if you're thinking, "what the hell was this guy on?" the answer is opium. Lots and lots of opium.

Kubla Khan

Or, a vision in a dream. A Fragment.

By Samuel Taylor Coleridge

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan

A stately pleasure-dome decree:

Where Alph, the sacred river, ran

Through caverns measureless to man

Down to a sunless sea.

So twice five miles of fertile ground

With walls and towers were girdled round;

And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills,

Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree;

And here were forests ancient as the hills,

Enfolding sunny spots of greenery.

But oh! that deep romantic chasm which slanted

Down the green hill athwart a cedarn cover!

A savage place! as holy and enchanted

As e’er beneath a waning moon was haunted

By woman wailing for her demon-lover!

And from this chasm, with ceaseless turmoil seething,

As if this earth in fast thick pants were breathing,

A mighty fountain momently was forced:

Amid whose swift half-intermitted burst

Huge fragments vaulted like rebounding hail,

Or chaffy grain beneath the thresher’s flail:

And mid these dancing rocks at once and ever

It flung up momently the sacred river.

Five miles meandering with a mazy motion

Through wood and dale the sacred river ran,

Then reached the caverns measureless to man,

And sank in tumult to a lifeless ocean;

And ’mid this tumult Kubla heard from far

Ancestral voices prophesying war!

The shadow of the dome of pleasure

Floated midway on the waves;

Where was heard the mingled measure

From the fountain and the caves.

It was a miracle of rare device,

A sunny pleasure-dome with caves of ice!

A damsel with a dulcimer

In a vision once I saw:

It was an Abyssinian maid

And on her dulcimer she played,

Singing of Mount Abora.

Could I revive within me

Her symphony and song,

To such a deep delight ’twould win me,

That with music loud and long,

I would build that dome in air,

That sunny dome! those caves of ice!

And all who heard should see them there,

And all should cry, Beware! Beware!

His flashing eyes, his floating hair!

Weave a circle round him thrice,

And close your eyes with holy dread

For he on honey-dew hath fed,

And drunk the milk of Paradise.

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Yeah i'm in agreement, i'm not sure about a sacrifice but i think its possible she was murdered or pulled an honor killing(which she could have done herself or asked a loved to do for her) and asked for vengence with her dying words.

Something worth considering is that it isn't inconsistent with Lyanna dying in childbirth since that can itself be triggered by a trauma

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A Looong time lurker (since the Wall, Watch, Heresy days) but I think a first time post, maybe. Anyway, I have always found the "spattered with gore" reference an interesting take on the matter as well. It always seemed to me, and many others, that this referred to a violent act of some sort. The bleeding eyes post above led me to a simple google search that produced an interesting result, haemolacria. Bleeding from the tear ducts is an actual, rare, thing found in women with hormone problems, and can also be a product of traumatic injury (head trauma, poison?, etc, etc), and other unexplained cases involving young kids crying blood apparently.



Not real sure where any of this may lead, probably nowhere, but there does seem to be an endless array of pieces connecting Lyanna, Ashara, dead babies, blood and other tidbits. I fear, and always have, there is more to all this than R+L=J. But dead Jon on a dragon would still be epic.


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I don't know about sacrifice. The weirwood eyes are suggestive but I rather had this in mind: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cruentation

That's not to suggest that Ned Stark murdered his sister, but does suggest that she is crying out to him for vengeance and recalls my old joke:

"Promise me Ned, promise me that bastard Rhaegar died screaming..."

Any chance it's both? Lyanna was a sacrifice in some way--to Rhaegar's chasing a prophesy, to a higher cause, etc. So, then the cruenation is a reminder of his promise--for revenge. She was sacrificed. Not happy about that, etc.

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