Sansa and the Giants In two articles on my blog I show how horses, horse scenes and jousts are used by George as scenes of foreshadowing (Ned Stark's fate and much of the wars and political games) called the "Trail of the Red Stallion" - one and two). A few of the Hand's tourney scenes in Sansa's pov are not covered in those articles, because they cover Sansa's personal Vale arc and have not yet come to pass at all, and in order to attempt to make an accurate prediction on it, an extensive analysis is quired for it. This essay will not only discuss the foreshadowing of several very important paragraphs of the Hand’s Tourney from Sansa’s point of view, but also the words of the Ghost of High Heart regarding Sansa and more importantly what the chapter in the Eyrie’s godswood foreshadows when Sansa and Littlefinger build Winterfell from snow and Sweetrobin ends up destroying it as well as paralleled scenes in Sansa’s arc. Piecing all the clues together we can actually derive a very concrete and coherent scenario of what will happen in the Vale. I must warn you though that the conclusions and the scenario may disagree a lot with the general beliefs regarding Sansa’s Vale arc, such as Sansa rebuilding Winterfell with the help of the Vale. Not that the scenario I am proposing will ruin all chances of Sansa ever being a Stark renaissance character, but certainly not in the glorious way with an army the size of forty thousand as many seem to believe, or even the Vale as we know it to be today. It will however make a heart-wrenching lot of narrative sense. The most important paragraph to predict Sansa’s Vale arc is Ser Hugh’s death scene at the Hand’s Tourney. It foreshadows in a rudimentary way what will happen to the Eyrie, the Gates of the Moon and the Bloody Gate. Everything else – the prophecies and the snow castle – give us the details and particulars. But basically, throughout the article it will all come down to this paragraph. One of the best known and often discussed prophecies regarding Sansa’s arc is the dream the Ghost of High Heart relays to the Brotherhood Without Banners. The maid is Sansa. The first half of GoHH’s dream is an allusion to Joffrey’s murder at his own wedding with one of the poisoned “amethysts” that Olenna pulled from Sansa’s hairnet. The second half alludes to Sansa slaying Sweetrobin’s doll. This event leads to numerous interpretations of GoHH’s prophecy about the savage giant. That GoHH only saw the tug of war between Sansa and Sweetrobin at the Eyrie, and it means nothing more than that scene alone. That it is a double foreshadowing of Sansa truly slaying the elusive savage giant, with varying proposals for the identity of the Giant either being Robert Strong (the resurrected and veritable human giant Gregor Clegane), Petyr Baelish whose family sigil is the head of the Titan of Braavos, or Tyrion who is referred to as an intellectual giant despite his size. I agree that GoHH saw only the childish fight between Sansa and Sweetrobin at the Eyrie. However, the chapter itself from the moment that Sansa wakes until she leaves the godswood is full of foreshadowing parallels. GoHH’s prophecy is George’s signpost to pay close attention to the chapter. I will show how the joust of Ser Hugh against Gregor Clegane, the joust of Loras against Robar Royce and the snow castle scenes support one another. Prediction 1 - The Mountain Gregor Clegane’s nickname is The Mountain, and he is the biggest man that Eddard Stark has seen – a veritable human giant that even other human giant men look up to. The mountain that flanks the Eyrie – that Catelyn Tully ascends in aGoT with Tyrion as her captive, and that Sansa descends together with Sweetrobin in aFfC – is called the Giant’s Lance, a mountain that even other mountains look up to, of 3.5 miles high (5630 km). Ser Hugh is killed by the giant Mountain’s lance. In other words, this foreshadows some natural disaster involving the mountain called the Giant’s Lance in the Vale, an avalanche in particular. George mentions that Vale mountain’s name and its ominous description five times in Sansa’s chapters in the Vale, and refers to it over thirty times. The most ominous mentioning of it is the following passage of Alayne’s first chapter in aFfC. The Eyrie is “dwarfed” in comparison to the looming “giant of giants”. George also alludes several times to the amount of snow that gathers on the Giant’s Lance. And that is only at the start of Winter. It is certain that even more snow will gather and it promises to be one of the harshest winters in memory, of the past eight thousand years. The deadliest avalanches are powder snow avalanches. They are the pyroclasts of the avalanches, except instead of lava and ashes, they consist of snow, ice and whatever tree and rock debris they carry along at a massive speed of 300 mph (480 km/h). With gravity as an accomplice they can gain up to a mass of 10 million tonnes, destroying everything in their path. Their flows can carry across a valley floor and even uphill again. A powder snow avalanche basically has the destructive power of an imaginary level 10 hurrican (the current maximum level is 5 for speeds over 157 mph). In winter time, when ambient temperatures are too cold and dry, the crystaline structure of long standing snow and ice becomes unstable, while the more recent layer of seasonal snow did not get enough time to bond and is easily displaced by storms to add weight the unstable standing snow cannot carry anymore. When it breaks those weak crystaline structures can become airborn and gain turbulence resulting into a powder snow avalanche.  Finally, tremors or earthquakes can cause avalanches as well. Meanwhile, the Gates of the Moon at the foot of the Giant’s Lance – basically a powder snow canon lying in waiting – are no bigger than a child’s toy, and the people no bigger than ants that are easily stepped on and crushed. The sole Arryn home of importance in tWoW is the keep where Sansa, Littlefinger and Sweetrobin reside for the duration of the winter – the Gates of the Moon. A powder snow avalanche can only mean a massacre at the Gates of the Moon. In fact, George gives us an exact visual what the Giant’s Lance will do to the Gates of the Moon when Sweetrobin destroys Sansa’s snow castle. With all the focus on this scene related to the prophecy of the Ghost of High Heart and how Sansa slays a giant, we pay less attention on what a giant is actually doing to the snow castle. Sansa’s snow castle is scaled to the size of a child’s toy (the doll). Meanwhile the child, Sweetrobin, is the size of a scaled mountain. Sweetrobin himself reminds us that he is a scaled stand-in for a giant able to hurt a castle, which can only be a mountain. Does Sansa and Littlefinger regarding the snow castle as a model of Winterfell, exclude what we see happen to the snow castle as a foreshadowing metaphor and parallel for other castles? Not at all. Neither the descruptive paragraph nor Robert Arryn simply refer to it as “the castle”. And no actual giant, such as Wun-Wun, can dwarf a real castle or collapse across it like that. It requires a giant the size of a mountain, and the only known castle situated in the valley of such a mountain are the Gates of the Moon. There is no mountain in the proximity of Winterfell. And of course, Ser Hugh’s cloak with its crescent moons turning red with blood definitely points to a tie-in to the moon, which does fit the name of the Gates of the Moon. The paragraph of Ser Hugh’s death gives a timing reference – it happens shortly before the sun is gone, an allusion to the Long Night, which has been connected to the sounding of the Horn of Joramun or Horn of Winter who can wake giants from the earth. While it is currently believed by the wildlings that blowing the Horn of Winter would bring down the Wall, the poetic phrase of “waking giants from the earth” most likely implies earthquakes, and what are giants if not mountains? When people describe the experience of an earthquake, they do so by saying how the ground beneath them shivered, trembled and shook. Sweetrobin’s destruction of the castle does not only show us the amount of destructrion the mountain will cause, but what makes it happen in the first place: an earthquake will bring the avalanche of hell on the Gates of the Moon. The Horn of Winter legend is one of those features within the books that several readers link with the Norse mythology of Ragnarok. Ragnarok is the end of a time-cycle where the gods and heroes have to fight the dead, frost giants as well as fire giants (ice and fire). Several prophesied events precede Ragnarok, but the onset of that period is heralded by several horns being blown. The enemy of the upper god Odin is Loki who has several monstrous children and grandchildren. Two of his wolf grandchildren cause a long lasting winter: Sköll (‘Treachery’) eats the sun after Hati (‘Enemy’) chases the moon and swallows it whole. Both Catelyn and Sansa associate the winds whipping during their ascent and descent on the flank of the Giant’s Lance with the howling of a wolf. If the Horn of Winter wakes mountains and an avalanche hurls from the Giant’s Lance, a mountain where the wind howls like a wolf, to swallow the Gates of the Moon whole, then we actually would have a Ragnarok event occurring. And for those buried underneath an avalanche both the moon and the sun will be snuffed out. Even in other instances, the moon references to the location are ominous. When Catelyn arrives at the Gates of the Moon with Tyrion as her hostage, there is a crescent moon out – a horned moon – reflected by the castle’s moat. The same crescent is featured  again during Catelyn’s ascent to the Eyrie, and appears bigger even. George wants us to visually associate a crescent moon with the Gates of the Moon and the flank of the Giant’s Lance. We witness the crescent moons on Ser Hugh’s cloak turn red from blood. And in Bran’s last chapter in aDwD that covers several moons, the crescent moon is repeatedly compared to a knife. The crescent blade is a sickle, a harvesting or “reaping” blade. It is also associated with the popular image of a druid, both for the reaping of mistletoe and human sacrifice, something the First Men once practiced in Westeros in their religion of the Old Gods. Bran has a vision of the distant past of such an event down in Bloodraven’s cave. This is the reason that the sickle is a symbol for the “grim reaper” (aka death) even to this day. Catelyn’s Horned Moon also appears at the Twins when Robb crossed the Twins after consenting to the marriage pact with one of Lord Walder Frey’s daughters. And we know how bloody a human sacrifice that turned out to be, when Robb returned to the Twins. If the avalanche occurs during a big event at the Gates of the Moon, it would be e devestating massacre, possibly outdoing the Red Wedding.