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Puns and Wordplay

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13 minutes ago, Seams said:

Interesting to compare and contrast the way that septas influenced Sansa, Brienne and other women in the books. Cersei also mentions a response from her septa when recalling her reaction to Maggie the Frog's prophecy.

There is definitely a "kindly" connection between Sansa and Arya's arcs, I think. GRRM has built lots of parallels between the Kindly Man and Littlefinger. It would be interesting to look for other uses of the word "kindly" to see if it is used in similar ways in other stories. Good idea.

^^See my ETA. 

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bank / bank

This may be another one of those convoluted explanations. I'll try to make it short and to-the-point.

As discussed elsewhere in this forum, I think the Bank of Braavos, known as the Iron Bank, is supposed to compared to the "bank" of faces maintained by the Faceless Men, also in Braavos. Coins have faces ("heads") as well as "tails." People pay a lot of coin to hire the Faceless Men to commit a murder - this is underscored by Littlefinger, Master of Coin, when he explains to the Small Council how costly it would be to hire the Faceless Men to kill a princess (AGoT, Eddard VIII). So two kinds of banks, one having to do with money and one having to do with murder but linked in that both are in Braavos, and murders by the FM cost a lot of money.

The Iron Throne has been borrowing a lot of money from the Iron Bank. Keep in mind the Throne / thorn connection discussed earlier on this thread, and the fact that thorns are parts of flowers. Flowers are in the flow / flower wordplay, also discussed earlier. Early on, we learn that King Robert likes to offer expensive prizes to the jousting, archery and melee champions at tournaments, for instance. Sort of like financing a pretend war using borrowed money. So we have an increasing conflict between the Bank and the Throne - the Throne wants the money to keep flowing. The Throne is using that money to finance tournaments (fake wars) and, later, real war: Cersei and Tyrion continue to spend on building ships, making wildfire, hiring Mountain Clans and others as sellswords, etc.

The metaphor that comes together through this wordplay seems to be a river (flow) and a river bank. You can be either in the river or on the bank, but - in most cases - not on both. So this either adds clarity or another layer of complexity to other wordplay we have seen such as drowned / crowned. The Tully family launches their dead in boats and sets them adrift on the river before shooting a flaming arrow into the boat to insure cremation of the body while it is on the flowing water. Catelyn's dead body was thrown into the Green Fork of the Trident until it washed up on the river bank and was revived by Thoros of Myr.

An exception? In ACoK, Sansa I, Joffrey tells Sansa that Viserys, the Beggar King, has been killed; crowned by the Dothraki with molten gold. He immediately connects this molten gold with dragons, implying that the gold coins called dragons killed Viserys, meaning that he was killed by the sigil of his own house. In Viserys' situation, flow and bank are united - the molten gold represented both flow and coins (from a bank).

I'm in the midst of another reread (this seems to be a perpetual state for me) and will be interested to look for examples of dead bodies in rivers, people who are revived after drowning in rivers or canals, people drinking from rivers, castles built on the banks of rivers, etc. (I just finished the scene with Samwell Tarly saved by a summer islander in Braavos after stumbling into a canal. The summer islander is going to tell him about dragons and, soon, Maester Aemon will be buried at sea.) I'm sure that the Dunk & Egg story with Ser Duncan fighting in a stream as well as Robert and Rhaegar's battle in the river must also contain hints about whether it's better to perish in the stream or to survive and have to climb out onto the bank.

 

Edited by Seams

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Did anyone else catch this possible reference to the Stephen King story and Jack Nicholson movie, The Shining?

"My father called them smallfolk," said Tyrion, "and he was not what you'd call a jolly man." He took another sip of watered rum, sloshed it around his mouth, spat it out. (Tyrion IX, A Dance with Dragons)

In the story, after things start to get creepy in the old hotel, the message "red rum" keeps appearing. Only after she sees it reflected in a mirror does the terrified heroine realize that it means "murder." Of course, here it could be an innocent reference to a group of crows.... But I fear that Penny may be doomed (maybe in a Nessa Nessa way) and that Tyrion might wield the sword.

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edge / hedge

swan / snow

I'm working on the Direwolves re-read for Clash ("Direwolves Don't Cry") and keep coming up with good, non-direwolf stuff. Here's some wordplay possibilities I came across today as I recognized the parallels between the Jon II and Arya V chapters in Clash.

First, consider the similar plot elements and settings of the two chapters: both begin with large trees, both involve villages that have been disrupted; Arya and Jon both do some scouting and find human remains. The short supply of food and game is a factor in both chapters.

So I was already alert to the parallels and paid attention to details that might enrich the comparison. This paid off when I found potential keys to some important motifs.

In Arya V, Arya crawls through a hedge, beyond which she encounters dead men and crows. Sounds suspiciously like things you would find beyond the wall. Why would a hedge be like The Wall? I remembered the line from two early Tyrion chapters in AGoT:

Jon Snow turned abruptly and walked to the low, icy northern parapet. Beyond him the Wall fell away sharply; beyond him there was only the darkness and the wild. Tyrion followed him, and side by side they stood upon the edge of the world. (AGoT, Tyrion III)

Is the “hedge” the same for Arya as Jon Snow’s “edge”? Obviously, with all the references to hedge knights, it would be interesting to sort out that edge and hedge are allusions to the Wall. The "edge of the world" excerpt from AGoT comes right after Jon and Tyrion have shaken hands, a "touching" gesture of friendship. Arya's trip through the hedge comes immediately after she decides to trust Gendry with her secret, admitting that she's a girl, telling him her name and that she is of House Stark.

In a rare moment of beauty in an otherwise bleak chapter, Arya watches three black swans glide over the water in the God’s Eye. “She stared at them with yearning. Part of her wanted to be a swan. The other part wanted to eat one.” The three black swans reminded me of the three ravens that Sam Tarly had taught to say, “Snow!” in Jon II. Suddenly I realized that “snow” and “swan” are probably intended to be one of GRRM’s wordplay pairs. This brings an added layer of meaning to the “ugly duckling” motif that we see later, when Arya turns to a swan under the care of Lady Smallwood (nee Swann) in ASoS.

Edited by Seams

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@Seams, are you following the detailed swan maiden analysis on @sweetsunray's thread? They are swanning it up over there. 

 

Sweetsun, check out this scene seams found. Three Blck swans swimming in the gods eye - that's yet another confirmation that the black swans are equivalent to the three black dragon moon meteors, the reborn moon maiden, etc. That is in fact what Arya's archetype is. 

Seams, there are a couple of other scenes where "north of the Wall" is symbolized that you might want to examine. Dany's last chapter of ADWD, when she sleeps by the old well and awakened covered in ants the next morning. The broken wall she sleeps next to is directly compared to the Wall of Westeros. 

Then we have Quorin and Jon hiding in that cave right before they are forced to fight when caught by the Wildlings. That entire cave scene after they pass through the waterfall is a "north of the Wall" metaphor. It's possible you'll find compatible themes there to what you've just discussed. 

The idea of hedge knights and edge nights (Nights watch) being symbolically connected is interesting. The Kingsguard knights are analogies for the Others, I have found, while the lowly Nights Watch compares to hedge knights? Makes sense. 

 

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49 minutes ago, LmL said:

@Seams, are you following the detailed swan maiden analysis on @sweetsunray's thread? They are swanning it up over there. 

 

Sweetsun, check out this scene seams found. Three Blck swans swimming in the gods eye - that's yet another confirmation that the black swans are equivalent to the three black dragon moon meteors, the reborn moon maiden, etc. That is in fact what Arya's archetype is. 

Ah, but those three black swans have long been part of my ugly duckling analysis in the bear-maiden thread for Arya :D Especially because it says "she wants to be one" or "eat one".

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25 minutes ago, sweetsunray said:

Ah, but those three black swans have long been part of my ugly duckling analysis in the bear-maiden thread for Arya :D Especially because it says "she wants to be one" or "eat one".

Yeah, I figure you might be aware of them, but I thought I'd call your attention to it just in case. I love seeing them in the god's eye... terrific. 

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Just now, LmL said:

Yeah, I figure you might be aware of them, but I thought I'd call your attention to it just in case. I love seeing them in the god's eye... terrific. 

it is!!!!

Here's the "ugly duckling" essay that Seams and I refer to

 

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1 hour ago, LmL said:

@Seams, are you following the detailed swan maiden analysis on @sweetsunray's thread? They are swanning it up over there. 

Sweetsun, check out this scene seams found. Three Blck swans swimming in the gods eye - that's yet another confirmation that the black swans are equivalent to the three black dragon moon meteors, the reborn moon maiden, etc. That is in fact what Arya's archetype is. 

Seams, there are a couple of other scenes where "north of the Wall" is symbolized that you might want to examine. Dany's last chapter of ADWD, when she sleeps by the old well and awakened covered in ants the next morning. The broken wall she sleeps next to is directly compared to the Wall of Westeros. 

Then we have Quorin and Jon hiding in that cave right before they are forced to fight when caught by the Wildlings. That entire cave scene after they pass through the waterfall is a "north of the Wall" metaphor. It's possible you'll find compatible themes there to what you've just discussed. 

The idea of hedge knights and edge nights (Nights watch) being symbolically connected is interesting. The Kingsguard knights are analogies for the Others, I have found, while the lowly Nights Watch compares to hedge knights? Makes sense. 

Thanks LmL. You're referring to the Valkyrie thread? I had dipped into it at an earlier stage, but haven't checked it lately. I will look again with renewed interest. I always love sweetsunray's insights.

I will also look at the metaphorical Wall chapters you suggest. I bet there are bunches of them.

Yes, I was thinking that GRRM had to be comparing the "edge knights" with hedge knights. I was just reminded of Varys's riddle for Tyrion on another thread:

In a room sit three great men, a king, a priest, and a rich man with his gold. Between them stands a sellsword, a little man of common birth and no great mind. Each of the great ones bids him slay the other two. 'Do it,' says the king, 'for I am your lawful ruler.' 'Do it,' says the priest, 'for I command you in the names of the gods.' 'Do it,' says the rich man, 'and all this gold shall be yours.' So tell me- who lives and who dies?

I am guessing that hedge knights or sellswords might end up being key players in resolving the plot. I wonder whether we should add Bronn to our list of potential kings? I've heard that something big is in store for Ser Davos, although he doesn't fit the edge/hedge wordplay. I have yet to sort out juggle and smuggle . . .

1 hour ago, sweetsunray said:

Ah, but those three black swans have long been part of my ugly duckling analysis in the bear-maiden thread for Arya :D Especially because it says "she wants to be one" or "eat one".

Yes, I was referring to your ugly duckling analysis and should have given credit where it was due. Thanks for adding the link.

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Frog eaters / Forgetters

I have been re-reading Clash and just took a new look at Bran III, where Meera and Jojen Reed arrive during the Harvest Feast at Winterfell. Little Walder immediately mutters, "Frogeaters," to Big Walder. I had already wondered whether "frog" was connected to the apparent wordplay around "forge" and "forget." Knowing that Meera will tell the important story about the Knight of the Laughing Tree and that many of us suspect Howland Reed holds the secrets of Jon Snow's birth, I thought there probably is a deliberate connection between Frog Eaters and Forgetters, although obviously the people who are frog eaters are repositories of important information; sort of walking libraries, which might explain the surname Reed. Instead of sharing the same meaning, perhaps the wordplay on frog eaters and forgetters is that they are opposites.

So what would this mean for the frogs in the story? Quentyn Martell is nicknamed Frog by his buddies. He is the frog who never gets kissed by a princess and (apparently) never gets a chance to turn into a prince. Or maybe he's the prince who gets melted down in a forge. When he confronts Dany's chained dragons, the frog symbolism - and possibly the frog eater motif - comes into play:

The dragon's head was larger than a horse's, and the neck stretched on and on, uncoiling like some great green serpent as the head rose, until those two glowing bronze eyes were staring down at him.
Green, the prince thought, his scales are green. "Rhaegal," he said. His voice caught in his throat, and what came out was a broken croak. Frog, he thought, I am turning into Frog again. "The food," he croaked, remembering. "Bring the food." (ADwD, The Dragontamer)

I do think that Quentyn Martell is supposed to be the new version of Ser Quentyn Ball, who was a minor player but a major instigator of the first Blackfyre rebellion. Maybe QM's death will provide a similar catalyst for current events.

The other major frog I can think of would be the fortune teller Maggy the Frog. Do these two "frogs" (Maggy and Quentyn) have anything in common?

Edit: I found one more - Janos Slynt and his sons are repeatedly described as frog-faced.

How would the Reeds, Maggy, Quentyn or Slynt link into the forge and forget wordplay?

Bran eats a lot of frogs on the trip with Meera and Jojen. Gendry catches a frog and shares it with Lommy Greenhands while they travel with Arya and Hot Pie.

This needs more work, if it makes sense at all. It seems as if there is the kernel of something here.

On 4/22/2016 at 3:38 PM, Seams said:

Forge / Forget

One of the points I meant to make in the steal / steel post is about the possible wordplay between "old swords remember" and the pun of forge and forget. It suddenly struck me that Tobho Mott's name could be a sort of anagram of "hot tomb" and the scales fell from my eyes - the crypt under Winterfell isn't a permanent resting place, it's a forge where old Starks are reforged into new weapons. Maybe that's why Bran and Rickon and the other Stark kids played down there: when they emerged, they were the new weapons made out of the old. That also means that Hodor, Osha, the Reeds, Summer, Grey Wind, Maester Luwin and - ugh - Big and Little Walder may have picked up some Starknitude. And Theon is somewhat rejuvenated down there after his visit with Lady Dustin. Unless maybe you have to take an iron sword to get the benefit of the reforging.

What does it mean, though, that old swords remember? Is the forge / forget pun not a match? Maybe they forget everything but their enemies, like the punchline of an insensitive joke an Irish friend told me. So maybe the reforging creates a rejuvenated weapon, but the memories are not forgotten. Should I be comparing this to Beric Dondarrion as well?

If we're supposed to compare buildings to an armorer's forge, I thought the Red Keep is another obvious example where the building's name sounds like a "hot tomb." Ned leaving the North for King's Landing could be compared to walking into a fiery forge where he is melted down, as his sword will be later. He is certainly divided into two, like Ice, anyway.

The mysterious lower levels of the Red Keep contain dragon skulls, making it very tomb-like. Arya, Tyrion and Shae spend time down there. Are they picking up "reforging" magic from the dragons, as visitors to the Winterfell crypt may pick up mojo from Stark bones?

Another pun may underscore this comparison: bellows / below. Maybe the lower you go, the hotter things get? A bellows metaphor could also help to tease out the meaning of wind references in the books.

The idea of a tomb as a forge may also apply to the place Arya hid Needle instead of throwing it in the canal with her other possessions. She hid it in a cavity behind a stone on some steps leading down to the water. I hope she doesn't forget it's there.

 

Edited by Seams

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deserter / red trees

ruby / bury

Shaggydog / Osha dyggg

A couple of potentially significant wordplay examples discussed on other threads:

Deserter and red trees I discovered and discussed this wordplay in a thread trying to understand the purpose of the scene where Jon refuses to kill the old man near the Queenscrown and then immediately "deserts" from the wildlings. The tl;dr summary is that the old man is a symbolic personification of the direwolf Ghost, and that Jon allows him to be killed by Ygritte in order to avoid being killed himself. I noticed that the scene is an homage to the death of Aslan on the Stone Table, with Jon in the role of Edmund (although possibly also playing the role of the passive observers Susan and Lucy) and Ygritte as the White Witch.

More discussion of this wordplay pair will be necessary and welcome - I think we have to discuss the whole situation with the Andals cutting down weirwood trees in light of the connection to desertion.

Rubies and buries I had been thinking about this connection, and YOVMO asked whether I had a theory about the six rubies on the Quiet Isle, so I posted my thoughts on the thread about inns instead of bringing this wordplay idea to this thread first. Essentially, I am thinking there must be a connection between the Gravedigger, who buries and digs, and the rubies that have washed up on the island. There are obviously a lot of rubies in the series, so I (or someone!) would have to go back and examine additional examples to see if the connection seems consistent. Every time we see a sword with a ruby pommel or scabbard or ruby eyes, does someone die? Or do the jewels foreshadow the sword's function as a tool of death? When Ser Alliser requests that the king send support to the Night's Watch to counter the threat from the walking dead, Tyrion says he will send spades so the Night's Watch can bury their dead. Does this tie to the ruby motif in any way?

It occurs to me that we don't see a lot of graves in the books. We see bodies burned, left out for wolves, put on spikes on a wall or hung in cages where they rot away or are eaten by crows, thrown into rivers, stripped of their flesh so the bones can be put into a crypt, placed in tombs (King Tristifer), made into masks for the Faceless Men, and covered (apparently) in stone cairns (built from the stones of the Tower of Joy). Or reanimated and turned into wights. But not a lot of graves or burials per se. Maybe burials are as rare as precious gems.

Appropos of nothing (except maybe the bury/dig connection), I noticed last night that you can make the words Osha dyggg out of Shaggydog. Kind of meaningless, maybe since dyggg is not a word. I do wonder whether the double "G" is the author's shorthand for the word "egg." Is Osha digging for eggs? Or dying? Dyeing?

Edited by Seams

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seems / seams

fell / fell

I'm not trying to give myself a pat on the back here, but I will anyway. It turns out my username may have been more than a little prescient. When I was trying to figure out whether Summerhall and Winterfell were supposed to be mirror images, I decided to examine the dictionary definitions of "fell," just to see if there might be some extra layers I was missing. Bingo!

Definition of fell

  1. a :  to cut, knock, or bring down <fell a tree> b :  kill

  2.  :  to sew (a seam) by folding one raw edge under the other and sewing flat on the wrong side

I knew that sewing metaphors were important, but this suggests that Winterfell could be a transition between two areas or places or states of being - what two kinds of "fabric" are held together at Winterfell?

A little while later, someone started a thread complaining about something Jojen says that is so obvious that it seemed as if GRRM had let some dumb kid write a random line of dialogue and insert it in the book: looking around the Night Fort, Jojen says, "This seems an old place." I get very protective of the author's prose, so I jumped right in with the potential explanation I had found for the seems / seams wordplay, suggesting that the Night Fort was a "seam" between an old place and the place where Bran and his companions had come from. Dictionary police to the rescue.

"Seems" is a common word, of course, but skimming through some examples on the Search of Ice and Fire site doesn't contradict the seems / seams pairing, based on Bran POVs, at least. Let me know if you find other good examples.

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24 minutes ago, Seams said:

seems / seams

fell / fell

I'm not trying to give myself a pat on the back here, but I will anyway. It turns out my username may have been more than a little prescient. When I was trying to figure out whether Summerhall and Winterfell were supposed to be mirror images, I decided to examine the dictionary definitions of "fell," just to see if there might be some extra layers I was missing. Bingo!

Definition of fell

  1. a :  to cut, knock, or bring down <fell a tree> b :  kill

  2.  :  to sew (a seam) by folding one raw edge under the other and sewing flat on the wrong side

I knew that sewing metaphors were important, but this suggests that Winterfell could be a transition between two areas or places or states of being - what two kinds of "fabric" are held together at Winterfell?

A little while later, someone started a thread complaining about something Jojen says that is so obvious that it seemed as if GRRM had let some dumb kid write a random line of dialogue and insert it in the book: looking around the Night Fort, Jojen says, "This seems an old place." I get very protective of the author's prose, so I jumped right in with the potential explanation I had found for the seems / seams wordplay, suggesting that the Night Fort was a "seam" between an old place and the place where Bran and his companions had come from. Dictionary police to the rescue.

"Seems" is a common word, of course, but skimming through some examples on the Search of Ice and Fire site doesn't contradict the seems / seams pairing, based on Bran POVs, at least. Let me know if you find other good examples.

Applause. 

Pair this with the fact that direwolves have not been south of the wall in 200 years, the same time the (Bad) Good Queen Alysanne diverted the Watch away from the magic gate which continued and exaggerated the demise of magic in the realm. 

The Nightfort and the gate seamed the two worlds together. 

Edited by The Fattest Leech

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2 minutes ago, The Fattest Leech said:

Applause. 

Pair this with the fact that direwolves have not been south of the wall in 200 years, the same time the (Bad) Good Queen Alysanne diverted the Watch away from the magic gate which began continued and exaggerated the demise of magic in the realm. 

The Nightfort and the gate seamed the two worlds together. 

That's what I was thinking, too - the magic, I mean. I wonder who or what else has gotten across, in addition to the direwolves. Do we know how Osha and her group got through? They were traveling with a Night's Watch deserter, so he may have been able to open the Black Gate. And then Jon opens the gate at Castle Black, although that seemed like a political and strategic decision, not an act of magic.

Maybe we should start a new thread to figure out where all the seams or portals might be.

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1 minute ago, Seams said:

That's what I was thinking, too - the magic, I mean. I wonder who or what else has gotten across, in addition to the direwolves. Do we know how Osha and her group got through? They were traveling with a Night's Watch deserter, so he may have been able to open the Black Gate. And then Jon opens the gate at Castle Black, although that seemed like a political and strategic decision, not an act of magic.

Maybe we should start a new thread to figure out where all the seams or portals might be.

A new thread on this could be a good idea. I bet we could find a lot of portals by way of doors, windows, etc 

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On 4/1/2016 at 1:49 AM, LiveFirstDieLater said:

The letters of "Daenerys" rearranged spell "Ser Dayne"

And of course, Sarella is Alleras backwards...

LEMON TREES IN DORNE CONFIRMED?

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dagger / ragged / Gared

Desmond and Fat Tom had dragged the man to the stump. Bran's eyes had been wide as saucers, and Jon had to remind him to keep his pony in hand. He remembered the look on Father's face when Theon Greyjoy brought forth Ice, the spray of blood on the snow, the way Theon had kicked the head when it came rolling at his feet.

He wondered what Lord Eddard might have done if the deserter had been his brother Benjen instead of that ragged stranger.

(AGoT, Jon IX)

I've finally started to pull together my thoughts and notes explaining why Theon personifies the sword Ice (with a helpful assist from ravenous reader), and I did some searching for word combinations that would reveal relevant excerpts I could cite in a new post. This searching revealed that Theon is strongly associated with a dagger for much of the series. In a nutshell, Theon feels unable to hold the hilt of a sword after several of his fingers are amputated, but he feels able to use a dagger. The phallic imagery is fairly clear: Theon is now swordless, but he has the use of a dagger. (He does manage to use a sword briefly when he convinces the Ironborn men to surrender Moat Cailin, so I have to figure out how that fits into the motif.)

So pursuit of this dagger association helped me to notice that the Night's watch deserter, Gared, and other deserters are often described as ragged. We know that Mance's Night's Watch cloak was torn but it was mended with red silk in a way that was very symbolic. The cloak had been ragged but became better than new, as far as Mance was concerned. As shown in the excerpt (above), the deserter Gared was also dragged to a stump. More dagger wordplay as well as the stump foreshadowing the castration and beheadings that are in store for Theon and the Starks.

I have the beginning of an idea about the connection between the deserter/red trees anagram wordplay I explored up the thread, and its connection to this new notion of deserters being ragged. You can all tell me if you think this is too far-fetched: I have wondered whether GRRM might allude to an egg (symbol of rebirth) by using the letters "agg". If so, both dagger and ragged could represent "red agg," and lead to some kind of rebirth (which, by definition, follows death). "Agg" is pretty close to the Swedish ägg ‎(egg), Danish æg ‎(egg). We noticed that GRRM has drawn on German for some puns, so maybe Swedish and Danish are not out of bounds. One of the best examples of GRRM using German words for puns is the use of Eisen (iron) and Ei (egg) as part of the wordplay around Ice and eyes. Since red trees have eyes, agg --> egg --> ei --> eye. Therefore, deserters have eyes like the weirwood trees. You follow? I realize I may be reaching too far with this interpretation.

Actually, the idea that deserters have seen things as weirwoods see things feels right, though, when you remove it from the symbolism and just apply it to some examples from the plot. Gared witnessed the aftermath of the attack by the White Walker and decided to desert. Mance has seen that the free folk are generous and kind, not savages, and decides to desert. Not sure, however, whether Dareon has any special insights before Arya kills him. Maybe his work as a singer qualifies as having special vision, since singers tend to be insightful truth-tellers in the series.

Knowing that there is a deliberate phallic meaning to Theon's sword/dagger transformation caused me to see the details of that early beheading scene (above) in a new way. I will probably ponder awhile before trying to start a new thread about Theon - the symbolism is much more complicated than I had thought. I had hoped that writing out this pun material would help me to make sense of some of the Theon symbolism, but maybe it's too much of a tangent. I do notice, however, that Gared had lost several fingers and toes to frostbite over the years. Theon Turncloak similarly loses a number of his digits to Snow - Ramsay Snow, that is.

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Perhaps this will help you , perhaps not, but there is al ink between frostbite and valyrian steel, specifically Ned's black sword called Ice. In the scene at Craster, sit comes hot and heavy: Cratser refers to Gared and asks if the bite did that too (took his head off), equating black Ice with frostbite. And then Craster needs an axe with bite, because his has lost its bite, and gets a black steel (think of V steel being almost black) axe from Mormont. Then we have the scene with Ygriite almost being executed by Jon - when Longclaw touches her, she says "that's cold," just as Sam says when he picks up the dragonglass after stabbing the Other. Dragonglass is like black ice, in a manner of speaking, just as Ned's sword is. When Jon touches her with Longclaw, he immediately thinks about Ice and Ned. 

I am coming at this from the angle of fire and ice - I am seeing George personify ice as burning and fire as being frozen, perhaps as a way of crossing people up and making things more interesting, but I saw your speculation about frostbite and thought I would offer it up.

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On 8/29/2016 at 0:10 PM, LmL said:

Perhaps this will help you , perhaps not, but there is al ink between frostbite and valyrian steel, specifically Ned's black sword called Ice. In the scene at Craster, sit comes hot and heavy: Cratser refers to Gared and asks if the bite did that too (took his head off), equating black Ice with frostbite. And then Craster needs an axe with bite, because his has lost its bite, and gets a black steel (think of V steel being almost black) axe from Mormont. Then we have the scene with Ygriite almost being executed by Jon - when Longclaw touches her, she says "that's cold," just as Sam says when he picks up the dragonglass after stabbing the Other. Dragonglass is like black ice, in a manner of speaking, just as Ned's sword is. When Jon touches her with Longclaw, he immediately thinks about Ice and Ned. 

I am coming at this from the angle of fire and ice - I am seeing George personify ice as burning and fire as being frozen, perhaps as a way of crossing people up and making things more interesting, but I saw your speculation about frostbite and thought I would offer it up.

This is excellent. Thank you for calling it to my attention. The Ice / eyes / Ei / Eisen pun is central to the major theme of the books, so anything that helps us to understand the sword Ice is super-important.

And this reminds me of some other wordplay that I should add to this thread: I started to follow sweetsunray's recent post about the axe at Craster's, and her theory that Benjen and/or some of his rangers were made into sausage. I don't find myself entirely persuaded by the evidence she lays out as it relates to guest right and Benjen, but she did a great job of pulling out important excerpts and calling attention to Craster and his attachment to that axe. That, in turn, caused me to connect Craster's axe at the dinner table to an axe that Theon's sister, Asha, wields at a dinner table on Pyke - she describes the axe as her husband and a small knife, called a dirk, as her suckling babe. Which brings us back to Craster because he is killed by a Night's Watch brother named Dirk. So, for what it's worth, add to the pun list:

Dirk / dirk

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21 minutes ago, Seams said:

This is excellent. Thank you for calling it to my attention. The Ice / eyes / Ei / Eisen pun is central to the major theme of the books, so anything that helps us to understand the sword Ice is super-important.

And this reminds me of some other wordplay that I should add to this thread: I started to follow sweetsunray's recent post about the axe at Craster's, and her theory that Benjen and/or some of his rangers were made into sausage. I don't find myself entirely persuaded by the evidence she lays out as it relates to guest right and Benjen, but she did a great job of pulling out important excerpts and calling attention to Craster and his attachment to that axe. That, in turn, caused me to connect Craster's axe at the dinner table to an axe that Theon's sister, Asha, wields at a dinner table on Pyke - she describes the axe as her husband and a small knife, called a dirk, as her suckling babe. Which brings us back to Craster because he is killed by a Night's Watch brother named Dirk. So, for what it's worth, add to the pun list:

Dirk / dirk

Whatever you do, don't google search "Dirk Lance."  

LoL, just kidding, I've never google'd that and I have no idea what you might find. 

As for ice and black ice, you've noticed Jon's dream where he is armored in black ice, correct? What do you make of that I wonder? I tend to see black ice as the perfect symbol of a comet, which is full of dirty rock and is covered in a very dark black goo called "space gunk" which is something like the char on your barbecue. In other words, comets contain oily black stone and black ice. And the most prominent sword in the story... is black Ice. Anyway I own't get carried away, but I find the black ice thing fascinating. 

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