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Puns and Wordplay

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4 minutes ago, Pain killer Jane said:

First of all, This up here makes absolutely no sense. (Pun fully intended.) Hiemal's comment about the cent-tree/sentry is the coalescence of why the Others are akin to the NWs members. The Others are lightning struck cent-trees that are covered in ash. The Night's King the father of the Others was a watcher on the wall, a sentry and he came down from the wall like a falling star and crowned himself king. And because the damn Pennytree is in between Barba's/Missy's teats it is at the heart of what is going on. So it is disrespectful to act out this way. 

And in the end -- it's all about asking/giving 'a penny for your thoughts...'

Because it's about the price paid for the acquisition of knowledge!  :wub:

Edited by ravenous reader

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45 minutes ago, LmL said:

 Clearly you do not appreciate my input, so I will stop trying to contribute to your thread. 

Yay! Hurray!

I'm sorry it took you so long to understand. You have derided my ideas, tried to divert attention away from focused discussions and onto your sun and moon analysis, argued when I have asked you not to hijack my thread and failed to notice that I usually leave a thread pretty soon after you join it. I don't know you as a person, but you commented long ago that I have never shown an interest in the celestial stuff, yet you continue to try to engage me in it. In fact, eleven days ago, you attempted to badger me into worshiping at your altar:

I have tried to read your stuff. If I wanted to comment on it, I would. Thank you for pledging to go away.

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Apologies for bringing up this thread but it has much important stuff going on.

Many fans contributing well-researched, well thought-out analyses and thoughts and speculations, of the symbolic reading kind. It enriches our reading, our experience, our understanding of the books. You might not agree with all the interpretations, and your reading, your experience, your understanding is different, but all are good to have.

The diligent English-language search for puns/word play is fun and fruitful, contrasted with the posited foreign language puns/word play.

I think this should be addressed.

If positing puns/anagrams/whatever in a foreign language (eg. German), we should know if GRRM actually knows that language well enough to do that and give obscure clues and hints. To only those readers who know German (or whatever language is posited), rather than his main audience: ordinary U.S. readers, few of whom have any deeper knowledge or understanding of a foreign language.

I'm a professional translator and one thing I know. Puns cannot be translated, they're language/culture specific, and translations are always approximations. The kind of analysis being done here ignores this fact and is, frankly, anglocentric (or US-English centric). Appropriating words from other languages as suits their English language interpretations, without heed to the deeper connotations and meanings the words have in their own languages and cultures.This is almost offensive, to GRRM and to speakers of other languages. GRRM has written all of his output in English,US English, and English is the language we should interpret and analyse his works in.

This also raises another question. Does GRRM think his readers are as proficient and able to "decode" the putative foreign language puns/word play? He cannot "pun", easily and freely, switch between languages, if his readers (not you, nerds! :-) ) are mostly left baffled and have no way of decoding or understanding because they don't know the right foreign language. They might only know the wrong foreign languages, like Finnish, Swedish, Russian, whatever.

U.S. readers mostly have nonexistent to very poor to shaky foreign language skills, GRRM doesn't seem like one to make his writing unintelligible to the them, his main audience. He'll write in U.S. English, his native language. It helps if you know some basic European (western culture) history and mythology, Latin, stuff like that.

One thing I find interesting is how U.S. and European culture have diverged in the past 300-200 years, and it shows, but that's another story and not one for here.

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Has this wordplay been done? 

Oaths and oafs. 

Both are ridiculous. 

Im on my phone which makes it hard to add more, but do we really need much more when comparing oaths and oafs in this story??? ;)

And my thanks to the one and only Roy Dotrice for helping point this out to me. 

Edited by The Fattest Leech

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Thank you.

On 4/4/2017 at 8:30 PM, talvikorppi said:

Puns cannot be translated, they're language/culture specific,

Pun as in saying,”Donald, stop.”

Verb definition of pun: make a joke exploiting the different possible meanings of a word.

Donald in the above instance can refer to Donald Duck or Donald Trump.

Noun definition of pun: a joke exploiting the different possible meanings of a word or the fact that there are words that sound alike but have different meanings (synonyms or is that homonyms).

Daffy Duck on the other hand can can be used as a caricature to Donald Trumps behavior.

Caricature:  a picture, description, or imitation of a person or thing in which certain striking characteristics are exaggerated in order to create a comic or grotesque effect.

Again thank you.

On 4/4/2017 at 8:30 PM, talvikorppi said:

Apologies for bringing up this thread but it has much important stuff going on.

Many fans contributing well-researched, well thought-out analyses and thoughts and speculations, of the symbolic reading kind. It enriches our reading, our experience, our understanding of the books. You might not agree with all the interpretations, and your reading, your experience, your understanding is different, but all are good to have.

The diligent English-language search for puns/word play is fun and fruitful, contrasted with the posited foreign language puns/word play.

I think this should be addressed.

If positing puns/anagrams/whatever in a foreign language (eg. German), we should know if GRRM actually knows that language well enough to do that and give obscure clues and hints. To only those readers who know German (or whatever language is posited), rather than his main audience: ordinary U.S. readers, few of whom have any deeper knowledge or understanding of a foreign language.

I'm a professional translator and one thing I know. Puns cannot be translated, they're language/culture specific, and translations are always approximations. The kind of analysis being done here ignores this fact and is, frankly, anglocentric (or US-English centric). Appropriating words from other languages as suits their English language interpretations, without heed to the deeper connotations and meanings the words have in their own languages and cultures.This is almost offensive, to GRRM and to speakers of other languages. GRRM has written all of his output in English,US English, and English is the language we should interpret and analyse his works in.

This also raises another question. Does GRRM think his readers are as proficient and able to "decode" the putative foreign language puns/word play? He cannot "pun", easily and freely, switch between languages, if his readers (not you, nerds! :-) ) are mostly left baffled and have no way of decoding or understanding because they don't know the right foreign language. They might only know the wrong foreign languages, like Finnish, Swedish, Russian, whatever.

U.S. readers mostly have nonexistent to very poor to shaky foreign language skills, GRRM doesn't seem like one to make his writing unintelligible to the them, his main audience. He'll write in U.S. English, his native language. It helps if you know some basic European (western culture) history and mythology, Latin, stuff like that.

One thing I find interesting is how U.S. and European culture have diverged in the past 300-200 years, and it shows, but that's another story and not one for here.

Edit: If I didn’t know what it meant and my British neighbor invited me over for some spotted dick (Spotted dick is a British pudding, made with suet and dried fruit and often served with custard) I would try my best to decline the invitation. There is all kind of comedy in that. Suet is what I go to the store to buy for the birds.

Edited by Clegane'sPup
edit because I wanted to have fun with words

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On 9/4/2016 at 0:14 PM, Seams said:

Mint / mint

This relates to the banking wordplay I was puzzling out, above (a July 10 post in this thread).

Peter Baelish is associated with the plant mint, which he likes to chew to freshen his breath, apparently. This is a habit dating back to his early days as a ward at Riverrun, if not earlier. When he comes to King's Landing, he becomes the Master of Coin, and is in charge of appointing the people who mint coins for the Iron Throne.

This came up in a discussion of whether Petyr might have set up the Antler Men, merchants in King's Landing who were said to be plotting to assist Stannis in taking over the city. (Varys reported their alleged treason and Tyrion signed an execution order without really checking into it. He was too busy preparing the defense against a seige.) I already had a dragon connection in mind for Petyr, we knew he had hired Penny and Groat to perform at Joffrey's wedding feast, and a link to the Antler Men would be a pretty good stag piece of his strategic efforts behind the scenes. So the links between Petyr Baelish, Master of Coin, and coin-related elements of the plot are pretty strong, if not yet explicit.

How young they all had been—she no older than Sansa, Lysa younger than Arya, and Petyr younger still, yet eager. The girls had traded him between them, serious and giggling by turns. It came back to her so vividly she could almost feel his sweaty fingers on her shoulders and taste the mint on his breath. There was always mint growing in the godswood, and Petyr had liked to chew it. He had been such a bold little boy, always in trouble. (AGoT, Catelyn XI)

 

I like it. White Harbor/Wyman Manderly also has a connection to mint/mint. 

Wyman offers to mint new coinage for Robb.

Quote

"King Robb needs his own coinage as well," he declared, "and White Harbor is the very place to mint it." He offered to take charge of the matter, as it please the king, and went from that to speak of how he had strengthened the port's defenses, detailing the cost of every improvement.

 

And there is also a location in White Harbor called the Old Mint. 

Quote
The Yard was teeming this afternoon. A woman was washing her smallclothes in Fishfoot's fountain and hanging them off his trident to dry. Beneath the arches of the peddler's colonnade the scribes and money changers had set up for business, along with a hedge wizard, an herb woman, and a very bad juggler. A man was selling apples from a barrow, and a woman was offering herring with chopped onions. Chickens and children were everywhere underfoot. The huge oak-and-iron doors of the Old Mint had always been closed when Davos had been in Fishfoot Yard before, but today they stood open. Inside he glimpsed hundreds of women, children, and old men, huddled on the floor on piles of furs. Some had little cookfires going.
 
Davos stopped beneath the colonnade and traded a halfpenny for an apple. "Are people living in the Old Mint?" he asked the apple seller.
 
"Them as have no other place to live. Smallfolk from up the White Knife, most o' them. Hornwood's people too. With that Bastard o' Bolton running loose, they all want to be inside the walls. I don't know what his lordship means to do with all o' them. Most turned up with no more'n the rags on their backs."

 

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1 hour ago, OtherFromAnotherMother said:

Maybe this is a dumb question but I'll ask it anyway because I don't know. 

Is the Old Mint in White Harbor where Wyman would have minted Ribb's coinage? Was the Old Mint an old minting building? 

I bet it was a place for making coins and it does sound like a good place where Manderly could have started making coins for King Robb, if he had lived. We know that the Reach had its own coins because the gold Hand coin was found in Rugen's chamber below the Red Keep.

I bet GRRM gave us some clues about coins in the other passage you cited:

The Yard was teeming this afternoon. A woman was washing her smallclothes in Fishfoot's fountain and hanging them off his trident to dry. Beneath the arches of the peddler's colonnade the scribes and money changers had set up for business, along with a hedge wizard, an herb woman, and a very bad juggler. A man was selling apples from a barrow, and a woman was offering herring with chopped onions. Chickens and children were everywhere underfoot. The huge oak-and-iron doors of the Old Mint had always been closed when Davos had been in Fishfoot Yard before, but today they stood open. Inside he glimpsed hundreds of women, children, and old men, huddled on the floor on piles of furs. Some had little cookfires going.

Davos stopped beneath the colonnade and traded a halfpenny for an apple. "Are people living in the Old Mint?" he asked the apple seller.

"Them as have no other place to live. Smallfolk from up the White Knife, most o' them. Hornwood's people too. With that Bastard o' Bolton running loose, they all want to be inside the walls. I don't know what his lordship means to do with all o' them. Most turned up with no more'n the rags on their backs." (ADwD, Davos II)

- Davos trades a halfpenny (coin) for an apple - Littlefinger, Master of Coin, eats an apple down to its core while he waits for Ned to descend Aegon's hill so Baelish can take him to the brothel where Catelyn awaits. In other threads, I have seen theories that apples are associated with kings. For instance, Jon eats an apple while deserting from the Night's Watch at the end of AGoT and steps on old, rotten apples at the ruined inn at Queenscrown in ACoK. I'm sure it's more complex a symbol than just "apple = king," and I'm not sure why Littlefinger would be associated with a king - maybe because he's a kingmaker? Maybe you can pinpoint a better meaning. Bran seems to be associated with blackberries, Arya and Sansa with a blood orange, Sansa with lemon cakes and melon and pears and pomegranates . . . .

- Other place - might be a "beyond the wall" symbolic reference. Not necessarily coin / mint related, but might help to figure out what GRRM is trying to tell us here.

- Halfpenny and smallfolk references - could allude to Penny and Groat, the little people named after coins. I think Penny functions in Tyrion's arc much the way that Ygritte functions in Jon Snow's arc.

- Rags - I think this relates to daggers and deserters, but I don't know how that applies to this situation.

As mentioned in one of those older links, I suspect that the face storage vault of the faceless men is supposed to be like the coin storage vault of the Bank of Braavos. So I bet there is something parallel in turning White Harbor's mint into a place where smallfolk live. Faces on coins, faces on people; coins spent by rich folk, smallfolk spent like coins when used in wars.

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This is great stuff! You have such a gift for this!

 

 

 

1 hour ago, Seams said:

I'm sure it's more complex a symbol than just "apple = king," and I'm not sure why Littlefinger would be associated with a king - maybe because he's a kingmaker?

He's eating an apple. He killed a king, a king that appeared to have choked. Don't you now wish it was apple pie? Although I'm sure pigeon pie has its own sort of beautifully crafted symbolism.

1 hour ago, Seams said:

Halfpenny and smallfolk references - could allude to Penny and Groat, the little people named after coins. I think Penny functions in Tyrion's arc much the way that Ygritte functions in Jon Snow's arc.

Halfpenny alone seems to point to Penny when you associate Tyrion being called "halfman" because of his dwarfism which he shares with Penny.

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champion / champignon / pig non

strangler / stranger

This just clicked into place as I read through Joffrey's wedding feast for the eleventy-billionth time.

Joffrey was snorting wine from both nostrils. Gasping, he lurched to his feet, almost knocking over his tall two-handed chalice. "A champion," he shouted. "We have a champion!" The hall began to quiet when it was seen that the king was speaking. . . "Not a true champion, though," said Joff. "A true champion defeats all challengers." The king climbed up on the table. "Who else will challenge our tiny champion" With a gleeful smile, he turned toward Tyrion. "Uncle! You'll defend the honor of my realm, won't you? You can ride the pig!" (ACoK, Tyrion VIII)

Because of the pun on champion and the French word for a mushroom - champignon - we may now have the groundwork laid for Tyrion's suspicion about the mushrooms offered to him by Illyrio Mopatis, the mushrooms he hides in his boot and the historian named Mushroom who is cited in the World book. Mushrooms may have something to do with being a champion.

The "stag knight" of the jousting dwarfs is the one Joffrey declares to be the champion. It seems like this is Oppo / Groat although GRRM seems to take great pains to mix up the two dwarfs during their act at the feast.

Because the stag knight is the champion, this also has implications for the Antler Men, Renly and Ser Garlan Tyrell, who famously wore Renly's armor - which includes a stag helmet - into battle.

Does the champion / champignon wordplay also mean that the stag knight is poisonous? Some of the mushrooms Tyrion encounters in Essos are certainly poisonous.

Then again, Joffrey says that the stag knight is not a true champion, and he asks Tyrion to defend his realm. The reader knows that Joffrey isn't really a stag (but Renly was). Symbolically, this could be Joffrey's way of seeking a Lannister to conquer the challenger. Tyrion refuses to ride the pig, as we all know, and Joffrey is then poisoned and he dies.

Based on the symptoms of Joffrey's poisoning, we assume that someone gave him a dose of The Strangler. I have wondered whether there was wordplay around "stranger" and "strangler." When Sansa sees Renly for the first time in AGoT, she describes him as a stranger. (Along with Ser Ilyn and Ser Barristan.) Since Ser Garlan is strongly associated with Renly throughout the wedding feast, it's possible that he has taken on Renly's identity as a Stranger and could be linked to the Strangler poison.

There could be additional wordplay in champignon - Tyrion refuses to ride the pig, essentially saying, "Pig, non!" (The French word for pig is porc, and this might even get into wordplay around the corpse that is soon to be made of Joffrey.) The first syllable, "cham-" could be wordplay on "sham," meaning fake. Joffrey said that the stag knight was not a "true" champion, so maybe he is a sham champion.

I'll have to look more closely at champions and mushrooms from now on.

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Is Martin familiar with Spanish language? 

I can't get over the Sansa/Sonsa/Zonza "pun". Zonza (Spanish) and sonsa (Portuguese) are adjectives with the same pronunciation and meaning, and could traditionally be translated as "silly" or "stupid". Controversely, the words have evolved since they first entered the iberic lexicon in the 17th century, and currently they are used to define people, usually females, who are deceivers, feigning apparent silliness to hide their true intentions under an aura of innocence. Every Brazilian reader I know describes Sansa as "sonsa". Even if it's unintentional, it works

Edited by Lady Dacey

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4 hours ago, Lady Dacey said:

Is Martin familiar with Spanish language? 

I can't get over the Sansa/Sonsa/Zonza "pun". Zonza (Spanish) and sonsa (Portuguese) are adjectives with the same pronunciation and meaning, and could traditionally be translated as "silly" or "stupid". Controversely, the words have evolved since they first entered the iberic lexicon in the 17th century, and currently they are used to define people, usually females, who are deceivers, feigning apparent silliness to hide their true intentions under an aura of innocence. Every Brazilian reader I know describes Sansa as "sonsa". Even if it's unintentional, it works

This is great! It fits perfectly with the “little bird” persona. Some claim that Sansa will become LF Jr at 14-15 years old which completely unbelievable to me, but what you’ve pointed out here is the true advantage.

We saw this with Robb, too. Twyin thought he’d whip Robb no problem but it turns out that because Robb was a complete unknown on the battlefield, that Tywin couldn’t outmaneuver him. It wasn’t until Tywin decided that while he doesn't know battlefield Robb, he does know teenage boys. And that was how he got Robb. There are some parallels between Robb/Jeyne and Tyrion/Tysha if you look at them making me wonder if Tyrion/Tysha didn't inspire the plan.

I think this will be the advantage of the Stark kids against the more experienced players in the series. They’re young and unknown. Moreover, they all grew up in unconventional ways making them even more unpredictable.

It’s all very Stark in that Ned is described as having a face which gave nothing away. 

 

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5 hours ago, Lady Dacey said:

I can't get over the Sansa/Sonsa/Zonza "pun".

Thank you for sharing that! I assume GRRM has picked up a little Spanish, living in the southwest U.S. but this sounds like a word unique to native or very fluent Spanish /  Portuguese speakers. I wouldn't underestimate him, though! He may have been very deliberate in alluding to the rich meaning of the word.

I think GRRM must have collected words and puns and anagrams, made up names and nicknames and titles and relationships for characters, and planned the names of villages and castles for a long time before he started writing in earnest. There are so many intricate connections and links constructed with specific words. The polished structure of his prose is just amazing to me.

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Mance Rayder/Emancipater. I think it's a crafty way of connecting Jon and Mance. Jon's election to Lord Commander is a definite homage to how Abraham Lincoln won the Republican nomination of 1860. I believe Mance was the first to attempt to emancipate the wildlings and Jon will be the Great Emancipater of the North.

Edited by Edgar Allen Poemont

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10 hours ago, Edgar Allen Poemont said:

Mance Rayder/Emancipater. I think it's a crafty way of connecting Jon and Mance. Jon's election to Lord Commander is a definite homage to how Abraham Lincoln won the Republican nomination of 1860. I believe Mance was the first to attempt to emancipate the wildlings and Jon will be the Great Emancipater of the North.

Nice catch! I don't know if the free folk think of themselves as emancipated when they move below the Wall, though. They may feel more like forced refugees. "Emancipate" might be a more fitting description if the North ends up splitting from the Seven Kingdoms - no more kneeling.

I like the election analogy, but I wonder whether the nomination of James Garfield might be a better comparison to Jon Snow's election as Lord Commander. Garfield was soon assassinated . . . :(

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Hi @Seams :)

Coins -- scion

I recently found this potential word play when looking into an idea by @ravenous reader that the Prince that was promised may actually be a price that was promised.  The theory being that Brandon the Builder may have been involved in a  'promise/pact/agreement' to give up a child/heir/scion, only for the prize to be stolen away.  Alternatively, some have theorised that the NK/NQ may be the potential candidates.  Either way, the basic premise is that a Prince [scion] was to be exchanged in payment [coins] but was stolen away, thus the Others want to now claim their prize.

There are various examples of this in the text, the obvious one being Theon sent to ward with the Stark's as payment for Balon's rebellion.  The first of three 'Princes' exchanged in payment...............

Quote

EDDARD I -- AGOT

Ned had last seen the king nine years before during Balon Greyjoy's rebellion, when the stag and the direwolf had joined to end the pretensions of the self-proclaimed King of the Iron Islands. Since the night they had stood side by side in Greyjoy's fallen stronghold, where Robert had accepted the rebel lord's surrender and Ned had taken his son Theon as hostage and ward, the king had gained at least eight stone. A beard as coarse and black as iron wire covered his jaw to hide his double chin and the sag of the royal jowls, but nothing could hide his stomach or the dark circles under his eyes.

Secondly, a Stark Prince......  [or the heir of the King beyond the Wall, whichever takes ones fancy]

Quote

JON VI -- ACOK

"Bael had brought her back?"

"No. They had been in Winterfell all the time, hiding with the dead beneath the castle. The maid loved Bael so dearly she bore him a son, the song says . . . though if truth be told, all the maids love Bael in them songs he wrote. Be that as it may, what's certain is that Bael left the child in payment for the rose he'd plucked unasked, and that the boy grew to be the next Lord Stark. So there it is—you have Bael's blood in you, same as me."

"It never happened," Jon said.

The third example is my favourite as it highlights the potential for the scion/coins wordplay......

Quote

THE QUEENMAKER -- AFFC

Quentyn had been very young when he was sent to Yronwood; too young, according to their mother. Norvoshi did not foster out their children, and Lady Mellario had never forgiven Prince Doran for taking her son away from her. "I like it no more than you do," Arianne had overheard her father say, "but there is a blood debt, and Quentyn is the only coin Lord Ormond will accept."

"Coin?" her mother had screamed. "He is your son. What sort of father uses his own flesh and blood to pay his debts?"

Three prices Princes used as coin or exchanged as payment. 

Regarding RR's idea that Brandon the Builder may have made some kind of pact/agreement involving the payment of a child/heir and then reneging on the deal, here are a couple of instances of Noble scions being 'stolen' away or robbed.  Firstly, Jaime.......

Quote

Jaime VI -- ASOS

King Aerys made a great show of Jaime's investiture. He said his vows before the king's pavilion, kneeling on the green grass in white armor while half the realm looked on. When Ser Gerold Hightower raised him up and put the white cloak about his shoulders, a roar went up that Jaime still remembered, all these years later. But that very night Aerys had turned sour, declaring that he had no need of seven Kingsguard here at Harrenhal. Jaime was commanded to return to King's Landing to guard the queen and little Prince Viserys, who'd remained behind. Even when the White Bull offered to take that duty himself, so Jaime might compete in Lord Whent's tourney, Aerys had refused. "He'll win no glory here," the king had said. "He's mine now, not Tywin's. He'll serve as I see fit. I am the king. I rule, and he'll obey."

That was the first time that Jaime understood. It was not his skill with sword and lance that had won him his white cloak, nor any feats of valor he'd performed against the Kingswood Brotherhood. Aerys had chosen him to spite his father, to rob Lord Tywin of his heir.

Even now, all these years later, the thought was bitter. And that day, as he'd ridden south in his new white cloak to guard an empty castle, it had been almost too much to stomach. He would have ripped the cloak off then and there if he could have, but it was too late. He had said the words whilst half the realm looked on, and a Kingsguard served for life.

And secondly, Sweetrobin........

Quote

Eddard I -- AGOT

Ned would sooner entrust a child to a pit viper than to Lord Tywin, but he left his doubts unspoken. Some old wounds never truly heal, and bleed again at the slightest word. "The wife has lost the husband," he said carefully. "Perhaps the mother feared to lose the son. The boy is very young."

"Six, and sickly, and Lord of the Eyrie, gods have mercy," the king swore. "Lord Tywin had never taken a ward before. Lysa ought to have been honored. The Lannisters are a great and noble House. She refused to even hear of it. Then she left in the dead of night, without so much as a by-your-leave. Cersei was furious." He sighed deeply. "The boy is my namesake, did you know that? Robert Arryn. I am sworn to protect him. How can I do that if his mother steals him away?"

Aerys 'robbed' Jaime, and Robin [robbing :P] was stolen away.   

So we have three examples of 'Princes' promised/exchanged in payment [coins/scion] and two of Noble heirs/scions [Princes in all but name] being 'stolen away'.  I really like the idea that the Others have come back to claim their prize, and the quoted text may support the notion that a 'promised Prince' may also potentially be a 'promised Price'. 

Other examples that RR has found include the exchange from one side of the Wall to the other involving Bran and Monster, and Robb who was supposed to marry Walder Frey's daughter as a 'bridge toll'!  A special component of being 'promised to someone' often entails marriage.....

Quote

 

A Storm of Swords - Catelyn II

"How will you get the northmen to the north?" her brother Edmure asked. "The ironmen control the sunset sea. The Greyjoys hold Moat Cailin as well. No army has ever taken Moat Cailin from the south. Even to march against it is madness. We could be trapped on the causeway, with the ironborn before us and angry Freys at our backs."

"We must win back the Freys," said Robb. "With them, we still have some chance of success, however small. Without them, I see no hope. I am willing to give Lord Walder whatever he requires . . . apologies, honors, lands, gold . . . there must be something that would soothe his pride . . ."

"Not something," said Catelyn. "Someone."

 

@ravenous reader has also recently found another example that fits particularly well.........

Quote

 

AGOT - Eddard  VI

Ned touched the boy's head, fingering the thick black hair. "Look at me, Gendry." The apprentice lifted his face. Ned studied the shape of his jaw, the eyes like blue ice. Yes, he thought, I see it. "Go back to your work, lad. I'm sorry to have bothered you." He walked back to the house with the master. "Who paid the boy's apprentice fee?" he asked lightly.
Mott looked fretful. "You saw the boy. Such a strong boy. Those hands of his, those hands were made for hammers. He had such promise, I took him on without a fee."
"The truth now," Ned urged. "The streets are full of strong boys. The day you take on an apprentice without a fee will be the day the Wall comes down. Who paid for him?"
"A lord," the master said reluctantly. "He gave no name, and wore no sigil on his coat. He paid in gold, twice the customary sum, and said he was paying once for the boy, and once for my silence."

 

 

A [bastard] Prince exchanged in payment only to be stolen away by a Stark.  If this parallels the Prince [price] that was promised and the Others are indeed seeking their late payment then it's interesting that this example has the Wall coming down. 

Cheers Seams, nice to see this classic thread back on the front page of the forum.  :cheers: 

Edited by Wizz-The-Smith

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12 hours ago, Seams said:

Nice catch! I don't know if the free folk think of themselves as emancipated when they move below the Wall, though. They may feel more like forced refugees. "Emancipate" might be a more fitting description if the North ends up splitting from the Seven Kingdoms - no more kneeling.

I like the election analogy, but I wonder whether the nomination of James Garfield might be a better comparison to Jon Snow's election as Lord Commander. Garfield was soon assassinated . . . :(

Interesting comparison to Garfield too, Seams. To be honest, I didn't know much about that nomination. I just read a bit on Wiki. I was linking the actions of Sam and Jon's friends playing off the egos of Mallister and Pyke and their mutual dislike of each other to Lincoln's advisers working behind the scenes, particularly in regard to Seward and Chase. Lincoln was a way stronger candidate in his own right at the start then Jon certainly, but I like the parallel with Lincoln utilizing his rivals later in his cabinet like Jon tries to do with Marsh and Yarwyck. Lincoln was assassinated too and by a Southron Sympathizer! LOL. As far as emancipation goes, I don't doubt the wildings view themselves more as refugees as you say, but I think Mance brought them together with all the tools available to him. Outtalking Tormund, outmaneuvering Styr, etc., singing what needed to be sung, so to speak, like a lesson in wilding coalition building, in order to ironically lead the Free Folk to freedom from their original separation from the "realms of men." All this relates to a larger idea I have about Jon's purpose and the concept of emancipation politically and personally/spiritually for Jon, but I'm still working on that one. I just think the Rayder part of Mance's name is kind of obvious and maybe, a bit of a sleight of hand on GRRM's part and the connection came to me when I started looking at the possibility of Mance's role being more connected and involved than I originally thought.

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Who says GRRM doesn't like wordplay?

My pardons, but this is from another GRRM story, but every time I read it, I think of this thread here ^_^

Jambles <-> Jumbles and back again.

"Yet you have never been beyond the Tempter's Veil until now. Only in the jambles, and never to the outworlds. You will find things different here, t'Larien."
Dirk frowned. "What was that word you used? Jambles?"
"The jambles," Vikary repeated. "Ah. Wolfman slang. The jambled worlds, the jumbled worlds, what you will. A phrase that I acquired from several Wolf-men who were among my friends during my studies on Avalon. It refers to the star sphere between the outworlds and the first- and second-generation colonies near Old Earth. It was the jambles where the Hrangans saturated the stars and ruled their slaveworlds and fought the Earth Imperials. Most of the planets you named were known then, and they were touched hard by the ancient war and jumbled by the collapse. Avalon itself is a second-generation colony, once a sector capital. That is some distinction, do you think, for a world so very far in these centuries ai-shattered?"
Dirk nodded agreement. "Yes. I know the history, a little. You seem to know a lot of it."
"I am a historian," Vikary said.

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I scanned this thread (and the forum) and I did not see this mentioned, but apologies if I missed it.

This popped in to my head late last night as I was reading about something else totally not related to ASOAIF.

Lich, Lichyard, Lichen... Ghost Grass?

Lich being an old English word for "corpse", the gate at the lowest end of the cemetery where the coffin and funerary procession usually entered was commonly referred to as the "Lich Gate". This gate was quite often covered by a small roof where part of the funerary service could be carried out. The lich developed from monsters found in earlier classic sword and sorcery fiction, which is filled with powerful sorcerers who use their magic to triumph over death. Many of Clark Ashton Smith's short stories feature powerful wizards whose magic enables them to return from the dead. Several stories by Robert E. Howard, such as the novella Skull-Face (1929) and the short story "Scarlet Tears", feature undying sorcerers who retain a semblance of life through mystical means, their bodies reduced to shriveled husks with which they manage to maintain inhuman mobility and active thought.[5]Gary Gygax, one of the cocreators of Dungeons & Dragons, stated that he based the description of a lich included in the game on the short story "The Sword of the Sorcerer" (1969) by Gardner Fox.[6][7] The term lich, used as an archaic word for corpse (or body), is commonly used in these stories. H. P. Lovecraft also used the word in "The Thing on the Doorstep" (published 1937) where the narrator refers to the corpse of his friend possessed by a sorcerer.[8] Other imagery surrounding demiliches, in particular that of a jeweled skull, is drawn from the early Fritz Leiber story "Thieves' House".[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lich

 

Lichyard lich (corpse) +‎ yard

lichyard (plural lichyards)

  1. (literary) A graveyard

 

Lichen, or lichenized fungus, is actually two organisms functioning as a single, stable unit. Lichens comprise a fungus living in a symbiotic relationship with an alga or cyanobacterium (or both in some instances).https://www.livescience.com/55008-lichens.html Some lichens can grow inside solid rock between the grains (endolithic lichens), with only the sexual fruiting part visible growing outside the rock. Different colored lichens may inhabit different adjacent sections of a rock face, depending on the angle of exposure to light. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lichen

  • "But there's no sun. How do you know?"
    "From the moss. See how it grows mostly on one side of the trees? That's south."
    "What do we want with the north?" Gendry wanted to know.
  • The rains came and went, but there was more grey sky than blue, and all the streams were running high. On the morning of the third day, Arya noticed that the moss was growing mostly on the wrong side of the trees. "We're going the wrong way," she said to Gendry, as they rode past an especially mossy elm. "We're going south. See how the moss is growing on the trunk?"
  • Beneath the shadow of the First Keep was an ancient lichyard, its headstones spotted with pale lichen, where the old Kings of Winter had laid their faithful servants. It was there they buried Lady, while her brothers stalked between the graves like restless shadows. She had gone south, and only her bones had returned.
  • The base of the tower was white from centuries of salt spray, the upper stories green from the lichen that crawled over it like a thick blanket, the jagged crown black with soot from its nightly watchfire.
  • The views atop the hill were bracing, yet it was the ringwall that drew Jon's eye, the weathered grey stones with their white patches of lichen, their beards of green moss. It was said that the Fist had been a ringfort of the First Men in the Dawn Age. "An old place, and strong," Thoren Smallwood said.
    "Old," Mormont's raven screamed as it flapped in noisy circles about their heads. "Old, old, old."
  • Inside was a cobbled square with a fountain at its center. A stone merman rose from its waters, twenty feet tall from tail to crown. His curly beard was green and white with lichen, and one of the prongs of his trident had broken off before Davos had been born, yet somehow he still managed to impress. Old Fishfoot was what the locals called him. The square was named for some dead lord, but no one ever called it anything but Fishfoot Yard.
  • It was cool and dim inside the castle walls. An ancient weirwood filled the yard, as it had since these stones had first been raised. The carved face on its trunk was grown over by the same purple moss that hung heavy from the tree's pale limbs. Half of the branches seemed dead, but elsewhere a few red leaves still rustled, and it was there the ravens liked to perch. The tree was full of them, and there were more in the arched windows overhead, all around the yard. The ground was speckled by their droppings. As they crossed the yard, one flapped overhead and he heard the others quorking to each other. "Archmaester Walgrave has his chambers in the west tower, below the white rookery," Alleras told him. "The white ravens and the black ones quarrel like Dornishmen and Marchers, so they keep them apart."

 

The Ghost grass "wildcard" could fall under this lichen umbrella, but being on the other side of the world, it appears rather different even if it has some shared literary functions. And we know people and objects from the other side of the planet most often have different names. Or not?

  • Ghost grass is a type of grass that grows throughout the Shadow Lands in eastern Essos, both on its shores and in the valleys between its mountains.[1] Ghost grass is taller than a human on horseback and has stalks as pale as milkglass. It is an invasive plant that overwhelms other grass. The Dothraki believe that ghost grass glows with the spirits of the damned and will one day cover the entire world. http://awoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/Ghost_grass

 

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6 hours ago, The Fattest Leech said:

Lich, Lichyard, Lichen... Ghost Grass?

Lichyard lich (corpse) +‎ yard

lichyard (plural lichyards)

  1. (literary) A graveyard

This is an excellent wordplay pair. Nice catch.

Some of your examples are moss and some are lichen. In the real world, these are different things. But maybe GRRM wants us to view them as a group. The stuff growing on the rocks at Moat Cailin is called "ghost skin." The name suggests lichen to me, which forms a kind of green, peeling skin on rocks, but the books' description of this invented growth sounds more like Spanish Moss. So maybe the author is putting moss and lichen in the same group.

Ghost grass, on the other hand, is taller than a man on horseback. But there could be a connection. There is a re-read thread that brought up ghost grass as a topic a few months ago. The discussion didn't get very far but maybe a lichen analysis would spark that topic.

In a current discussion in the "Wow, I never noticed" thread, I was pondering a "chill" and "leech" connection. After I submitted my post, I wondered whether "chill" and "lich" was a better pair. but you beat me to it here. Maybe they're all related.

The challenge would be to find out what lich and lichen have in common. (Or lich and chill. Or lichen and ghost grass.) Does lichen cause death? Or is it associated with death when GRRM uses it? 

The fungus + algae combination for lichen is interesting. Tyrion carries around poison mushrooms - a fungus - in the toe of his boot and he uses some to kill (or hasten the death of) the slave manager called Nurse. I think there is wordplay involving champignon (the French word for mushroom) and champion, which is what Joffrey calls Tyrion when he orders him to participate in the dwarf jousting at the wedding feast. I also came across a passage the other day where Sam Tarly is miserable about marching in his wet boots and says he feels as if he has mushrooms growing between his toes.

When skinchanger Borroq shows up at Castle Black with his boar, he opts to occupy the lichyard. My hunch is that Borroq is a reborn version of Robb Stark (not literally, but for literary purposes). If Borroq represents a reborn dead guy, a lichyard would be an appropriate place for him to set up camp.

Lots of possibilities here. Thanks for posting.

 

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