Well I'll just repost the swan-lake quotes and other swan references that I gathered in the Valkyrie thread: WATER DANCING So, this says that Water Dancing is the bravo's dance. It's a fighting style. But if there's a Swan Lake link it means it is certainly to take place in or involving Braavos. Note that Syrio declares Arya II, in KL, is where her Swan Lake ballet story BEGINS. Illyrio we learn later was once a bravo fighter, and thus a water dancer. Arya notes that though he's really really fat, he walks like a water dance... she particularly notes how he uses his feet, what part he walks on. The balls of the feet means he doesn' tput his weight on his heels, but the front of his feet, more like a ballet dancer.     Arya stands on her toes, on one leg. This is indeed reminiscint of ballet. Ballet dancers learn to stand upright, balanced without falling, on the tip of their toes, often on one leg. It's explicity linked to the water dancing. So, "water dancing" = "ballet" and Swan Lake is a ballet. It wasn't a pre-existing story that was adapted into a ballet like say Sleeping Beauty. It was written to be performed as a ballet. And only afterwards depicted in other art forms.       Here we get the image of water dancing ON water. That is what the swan ballet dancers do... the ballet is a dance as the swans dancing ON the water.   We have the night connection. Odette can only take her human form at night. That is her curse. The scene also coincides with the general swan maiden motif who strip their swan wings and feathers to take the form of a beautiful maiden in order to swim. Only in Swan Lake the maidens can do it only at night. In the other swan maiden stories it's a reverse tale... the swan maiden's feathers are stolen and she can't return to swan form, but forced to remain in human form, until they discover where there feathers are hidden.   And then we have a sorcerer who collects "birds"   I   Varys here is represented as Rothbard. And Ned also thinks of him as a "magician" And then for aGoT, we have the Horned Moon dancing on the water of the moat of the Gates of the Moon, which I always saw as an ominous sign in relation to the location there (see Sansa and the Giants prediciton). But a moat is where usually Swans swim on the water around a castle.     So we have the dancing element, a moat where usually swans swim, and moon/night symbolism, which links Swan maidens with Moon maidens. And in Swan Lake it is the moonlight, or the night in which the Swans can take on their identity again. I think this suggests that it is during the Long Night that Sansa and Arya have their identities revealed to at least one important person who will attempt to save them, from the disguise situation and captivity (in a metaphorical or physical form).   LAKES They don't taste of tears (salty) but the water is warm like tears. She associates it with summer, growing. It's an image of washing off the dust and dirt from a "journey". She wants to swim, take her clothes off. And she thinks of home. Arya of course can't take her clothes of, because she's in "disguise". But it does suggest that WF beckons or might be there for her after the Winter. Again we have Arya wishing she could swim and shed her disguise, by day (when Odette can't shed her wings). Arya sees swans on the lake, 3, and she wishes she's a swan (in the Bear thread I use the follownig quote in relation to the Ugly Duckling too). Note: the swans she sees are BLACK swans. But in disguise, Arya is like Odette in disguise, already a swan. Only at night can she shed her disguise and be her true self. Funny note on disguises princes Of course HH can be regarded as one of those castles where Arya is held captive, like Odette is held captive at the lake of Rothbard's castle SWAN COMBO REFERENCES First swan reference is "white swan ship" of the "Summer Isles". So, swans are linked to "summer". We see this link reappear again when Arya arrives in Braavos. Here the white swan of summer is overtaken by a "storm dancer" There's House Swann: showing a black and white swan on the shield. Not only do we meet Balon Swann who ends up wearing the white of KG, there's also Lady Smallwood where the tree maiden song is sung of Acorn Hall, who is called Ravella Swann from birth. She is a swan lady, and she calls Arya pretty. Tyrion eats a swan.     You could say that Sansa was served to Tyrion later on a silver platter, but she was cleared away again, hardly touched, and Tyrion just loves "tarts" (slang for whores). Interestingly 'swan' is served during the Purple Wedding and here's Tyrion's response to it. Seems to me that Tyrion's foreswearing 'swans' for himself. He doesn't want a swan 'again'. And it does reinforce the link of Sansa as a Swan. Well the one at the Purple Wedding certainly points to Sansa as the swan. Here's the quote again: Clever dogs => Sandor Sword swallower => Sandor held swords to Sansa's throat (several times), and a Nissa Nissa link. It also sounds like sexual slang, aka Sansa wants Sandor's "Sword" Pease => marriage dinner scene between Tyrion and Sansa where they discuss the "pease". You couldn't have had a more boring conversationbbetween two people who obviously have nothing to talk about with each other. They have nothing in common, nothing to share, and nothing to talk about, except pease, and even then still not without frustration and it being a minefield topic. The marriage was all buttered up to Tyrion as "She's pretty, she has a claim on WF", but it's boring. Chopped nuts => Tyrion is blueballed by Sansa, and he's made fun of by everyone because he hasn't bedded her. Again sexual slang, this time about Sansa-Tyrion. She doesn't want his nuts, but rather chop them up. => so, for Tyrion, NO, NOT SWAN AGAIN. The swan (Sansa) disappears shortly after, taken away by Dontos to LF's ship. That paragraph is George shipping SanSan and saying Sansa-Tyrion is "not interested" from both sides. This one is in Pentos, in Illyrio's house, after he fucked the blonde girl that Illyrio bought for him. He also thinks how he can't seem to keep wives for long. That he wants his wife back, his wife Tysha. But as it is 3rd time in a row, I think it still refers to Sansa. However, she is a "black" swan to him, because he believes she played him false, had him set up for regicide.  SWAN CONSTELLATION There's an interesting passage in a Jaime chapter of him watching the night sky after he fought with Rorge, and he's a captive of Hoat. So we have a crown for a king, a Stallion, a Swan and a Moon Maiden. It seems to me that these are possibly 2 or 3 ladies going for the crown - the Stallion would be Dany. The swan ships of the Summer Isles are mentioned again when Arya arrives in Braavos. Ineresting is that her first comparative thought is that she'll be a "mouse" again like in HH. Braavos is thus represented as much as a type of prison to Arya as HH, or where she has to live in disguise. There's also the interesting phrasing of "a girl"... this is an anonymous identifier, like Jaquen called her, a "no one". It's odd, because Arya isn't yet at the HoBaW, and you would expect her to think in terms of "than she/Arya could count". Then yes, Summer Islanders are again linked with swans and feathery cloaks, and Arya likes them best. BTW aside from Sam and his Swan ship of the Summer Isles, the Cinnamon Wind that takes him from Braavos to Oldtown (and Sam's said to be fond of  'dancing' by Jon in aGoT, though he's clumsy at it), there are several references for Arianne regarding swimming (the water gardens), dancing as well, but there's her exchange with Ser Balon Swann. Areo Hotah notices from the beginning that the swans of his brooch seem to be fighting (= dancing) and will not be taken down as easily as Arys Oakheart, nor as easily "seduced". I've been thinking for over a year now that Arya will train under the Black Pearl. Arya already shows an interest in pretty much all the courtesans, watching them, so proud about the fact she sold one her cockles, finding out the Black Pearl's real name, the Black Pearl being featured in the Mercy chapter and Raff talking gross about her. She is certainly fascinated by them, and I always linked them to 'swans' to Arya's 'ugly duckling' self image , with the boats on the canals like the 3 swans on the Gods Eye lake. It was enough to have that "I got a hunch feeling". But the Summer Isles, feathery cloaks, swan boats, the Black Pearl having Summer Isle roots, Sam's sexuality on a Summer Isle Swan ship, Arya's ballet water dancing of Braavos => all these elements together make that more than a hunch. I think we have uncovered the symbolical textual links for Arya to be taken "under her swan wing" and probably the person to help her return to Westeros at some point, and on what type of ship she returns (a swan ship). I think we can now say with perhaps +90% certainty that Arya will apprentice somehow with the Black Pearl, and that this will not only affect her womanhood but her desire to return to Westeros.  And since I've been writing fic with the Tempest in mind (the concept of sea-change), I also have come to see how sea voyages have become a means of a sexual sea-change in sexual mature characters in George's writing: while Jorah's bear kiss re-awakens Dany's sexuality after being a widow for a certain time, Dany takes Irri as her bedwarmer lover and masturbates. This happens at "sea" => sea-change Sam has his first sexual experience with Gilly. This happens at "sea" => sea-change     It suggests that swans don't die easily, nor are they seduced easily, whether black or white.