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16 minutes ago, Isobel Harper said:

Doesn't the Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz point in a certain direction when Dorothy first comes upon him?  Isn't it east or west?  Maybe the crucified slaves in Clash are another sort of "scarecrow?"

You know I don't remember if he was pointing in any direction since I haven't read the Baum books in a long time. Yes the crucified children on the road to Meereen are scarecrows in the aspect of warning and terrifying the slaves and therefore talismans against Dany, ones that are made from the slaughter of innocents. The pointing, if the scarecrow was pointing in a specific direction, would be a physical allusion. It also could be the use of the weathervane in the shape of a rooster, which was said to be by Pope Gregory to be a symbol of St. Pete (the guy that denied Chirst three times before the rooster crowed. 

2 hours ago, ravenous reader said:

In addition to 'Tor' meaning gateway or portal, it can also mean 'scoring a goal' (e.g. in a game such as football=soccer) as well as being a 'fool' or 'idiot' in German.  

I love the scoring a goal in football, especially considering how Ned's (if we parallel Ned and Torrhen) head ended up on a spike like a warrior's head on a tzompantli. 

3 hours ago, ravenous reader said:

Perhaps you ought to mention it to @Wizz-The-Smith.  He does so love identifying a new hill, hollow preferably!  @Tijgy has also pointed out that the name 'Brandon' can also mean a hill.  So GRRM definitely wishes to identify those Starks with hills.

Thank you! I will mention it to him. Tormund as well if we accept that Tor is tower and mund is actually mound as well as protector. I also need to mention that in the article I sent you @ravenous reader, in Scotland scarecrows are called bodach-rocais or 'old man of the rooks' and a rook is a tower and we have several towers known to be rookeries with a lot of crows. And given, that I saw that GRRM was a step below a chess master, this is not a coincidence. So in light of this, I think Torrhen, Tormund Giantsbane or his other alias Tormund Thunderfist might be the link between the towers on fire symbolism and scarecrows on fire and sacred caves and hollow hills and Calvary Hill. 

By the way, I think it might be significant that the word rook is derived from the Persian word meaning chariot.  

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1 hour ago, Pain killer Jane said:

You know I don't remember if he was pointing in any direction since I haven't read the Baum books in a long time. Yes the crucified children on the road to Meereen are scarecrows in the aspect of warning and terrifying the slaves and therefore talismans against Dany, ones that are made from the slaughter of innocents. The pointing, if the scarecrow was pointing in a specific direction, would be a physical allusion. It also could be the use of the weathervane in the shape of a rooster, which was said to be by Pope Gregory to be a symbol of St. Pete (the guy that denied Chirst three times before the rooster crowed.

I love the scoring a goal in football, especially considering how Ned's (if we parallel Ned and Torrhen) head ended up on a spike like a warrior's head on a tzompantli. 

Thank you! I will mention it to him. Tormund as well if we accept that Tor is tower and mund is actually mound as well as protector. I also need to mention that in the article I sent you @ravenous reader, in Scotland scarecrows are called bodach-rocais or 'old man of the rooks' and a rook is a tower and we have several towers known to be rookeries with a lot of crows. And given, that I saw that GRRM was a step below a chess master, this is not a coincidence. So in light of this, I think Torrhen, Tormund Giantsbane or his other alias Tormund Thunderfist might be the link between the towers on fire symbolism and scarecrows on fire and sacred caves and hollow hills and Calvary Hill. 

By the way, I think it might be significant that the word rook is derived from the Persian word meaning chariot.  

I haven't read the books, though I've heard some things about it and have seen the movie. 

In the movie, he's pointing towards Oz, I think.  Isn't Oz in the West?  The slaves were pointing west as well.

Also, (correct me if I'm wrong) the red brick road led straight to Oz, whereas the yellow brick road was the looong way to it.  This sort of reminds me of Quaithe's instructions to "go east in order to go west."  That is, take the looong way to get home.  Astapor and Yunkai have yellow and red bricks as well, don't they?

ETA: And like Dorothy, Daenerys just wants to go home.

I'm curious to know if there are any red doors mentioned in the book series, especially in Kansas. 

Edited by Isobel Harper

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6 minutes ago, Isobel Harper said:

I haven't read the books, though I've heard some things about it and have seen the movie. 

In the movie, he's pointing towards Oz, I think.  Isn't Oz in the West?  The slaves were pointing west as well.

Also, (correct me if I'm wrong) the red brick road led straight to Oz, whereas the yellow brick road was the looong way to it.  This sort of reminds me of Quaithe's instructions to "go east in order to go west."  That is, take the looong way to get home.  Astapor and Yunkai have yellow and red bricks as well, don't they?

ETA: And like Dorothy, Daenerys just wants to go home.

I'm curious to know if there are any red doors mentioned in the book series, especially in Kansas. 

It would make sense if Oz were in the West, as the books are political allegories for the rise of populism in America. Dorothy's silver shoes walking on the golden yellow road was an allusion for the movement of the silver standard superseding the gold standard.  

The Red Brick Road doesn't exist in the book series. No one really know where it might lead as it was an invention of the movie. I have seen that the Red Brick Road leads to the Sapphire City or Glinda's home. 

The idea of the red brick road, I like because it evokes the image of a road paved with blood. And we have a lot of quotes that equate blood, dirt and the color red.

The Red Mountains of Dorne
Astaphori saying of "Bricks and Blood"
The red brick of the Red Keep
Red Sword of Heroes covered in the life's blood of Nissa Nissa

I think the witch that got crushed had a red door. Mostly I think the red door is a finger pointing at the Rollingstones' song Paint It Black. The first line of that song is "I see a red door and I want to paint it black."  

I like that you noticed the parallel between Dany and Dorothy. There are a few.

Dany rides her Silver.
Dorothy wears silver shoes (the movie got that part wrong because they wanted to have something striking for the technicolor)
Dany's epithet is Stormborn
Dorothy's middle name is Gale
Jorah tells Dany "You ought to see it when it blooms, all dark red flowers from horizon to horizon, like a sea of blood." This is a allusion to the poppy fields where Dorothy falls asleep. (This is usually interpreted as a feature of the argument against Chinese immigration.) 

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22 hours ago, Pain killer Jane said:

in Scotland scarecrows are called bodach-rocais or 'old man of the rooks' and a rook is a tower and we have several towers known to be rookeries with a lot of crows. And given, that I saw that GRRM was a step below a chess master, this is not a coincidence.

That's fascinating.  I wish I knew more about chess, since there are probably multiple hidden chess motifs and moves we might identify.  For example, it's been drawn to my attention that if a pawn crosses the board it can become a queen (essentially adding an extra queen to a game which previously only had two), which if you think about it is what Baelish intends doing with Sansa his prime piece in the game!

Quote

A Feast for Crows - Alayne II

"Yes, Father." She could feel herself blushing.

He did not hold her kiss against her. "You would not believe half of what is happening in King's Landing, sweetling. Cersei stumbles from one idiocy to the next, helped along by her council of the deaf, the dim, and the blind. I always anticipated that she would beggar the realm and destroy herself, but I never expected she would do it quite so fast. It is quite vexing. I had hoped to have four or five quiet years to plant some seeds and allow some fruits to ripen, but now . . . it is a good thing that I thrive on chaos. What little peace and order the five kings left us will not long survive the three queens, I fear."

"Three queens?" She did not understand.

Nor did Petyr choose to explain. Instead, he smiled and said, "I have brought my sweet girl back a gift."

Regarding 'rooks' and 'rookeries', great catch connecting (scare)crows to chess!  Like 'rooks' in chess, the crow or scarecrow figures also come in 'black' and 'white,' e.g. the black vs. white ravens, or the black Night's Watch brothers facing off against the white (br)Others on the other side of the board ...'under the sea the crows are white as snow...'  

Maybe Bran is a bit of a chess grand master himself considering he's a greenseer for whom a powerful chess piece like the rook would be emblematic, considering his association with crows and broken towers struck by lightning and noting how he 'perches' like a raven, crow or scarecrow on the 'bridge connecting the second floor of the rookery with the fourth floor of the belltower...'  That sounds like code to me for something of uncertain significance, perhaps even a checkmating chess move!  Any ideas?  I've read the rook is often instrumental in bringing about 'checkmate' in the chess endgame, which is precisely what we've been anticipating regarding Bran and his role in the impending Long Night/War for the Dawn.  The 'bell tower' might symbolise the embattled King -- bells are often rung for the death of kings, executions, rebellions, a king under siege in the case of the Battle of the Bells, the transfer of power, etc. -- so 'sending a rook to the belltower' might be a checkmate move?  Although the rook begins the game relatively hemmed in in its options, as the game progresses it acquires greater freedom of movement and becomes ever more deadly, perhaps reflecting Bran's progress from cripple to major player! 

In line with your scarecrow suggestion, rooks in chess have also been depicted as 'warders,' 'watchers' or 'beserkers' (wolfskin-wearing warriors associated with Odin) depending on the chess set, and fittingly in heraldic depictions the crenellated battlements may morph into horns, evoking @LmL's 'horned greenseers' and more specifically the outward-curving horned headdress of a court jester or fool such as Patchface, bringing us back to the scarecrow trilogy 'clever bird clever man clever fool'!

Quote

Wikipedia:

Chess rooks frequently occur as heraldic charges. Heraldic rooks are usually shown as they looked in medieval chess-sets, with the usual battlements replaced by two outward-curving horns. They occur in arms from around the 13th century onwards.

 

19 hours ago, Pain killer Jane said:

I think the red door is a finger pointing at the Rollingstones' song Paint It Black. The first line of that song is "I see a red door and I want to paint it black."

That's a fun one!  Do you think there might be an allusion to the whole red-on-black dragon vs. black-on-red dragon?  A door is a kind of shield, herald or sigil, so painting a black dragon on a red door would seem to indicate illegitimacy.  Is Dany illegitimate?

 

20 hours ago, Isobel Harper said:

Also, (correct me if I'm wrong) the red brick road led straight to Oz, whereas the yellow brick road was the looong way to it.  This sort of reminds me of Quaithe's instructions to "go east in order to go west."  That is, take the looong way to get home.  Astapor and Yunkai have yellow and red bricks as well, don't they?

ETA: And like Dorothy, Daenerys just wants to go home.

I'm curious to know if there are any red doors mentioned in the book series, especially in Kansas. 

Although I'm not sure why he's doing this, GRRM employs quite a few counterintuitive pathways of this sort -- 'long' vs. 'short' way; 'front' vs. 'back' door, etc.

For example, there are two ways into Bloodraven's cavern -- the steep, direct route from south to north, or the flatter, roundabout route north and then backtracking south:

Quote

A Dance with Dragons - Bran II

"Is this the only way in?" asked Meera.

"The back door is three leagues north, down a sinkhole."

That was all he had to say. Not even Hodor could climb down into a sinkhole with Bran heavy on his back, and Jojen could no more walk three leagues than run a thousand.

 

Quote

ADWD-Bran III

The caves were timeless, vast, silent. They were home to more than three score living singers and the bones of thousands dead, and extended far below the hollow hill. "Men should not go wandering in this place," Leaf warned them. "The river you hear is swift and black, and flows down and down to a sunless sea. And there are passages that go even deeper, bottomless pits and sudden shafts, forgotten ways that lead to the very center of the earth. Even my people have not explored them all, and we have lived here for a thousand thousand of your man-years."

 

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On 11/8/2016 at 1:16 PM, ravenous reader said:

That's fascinating.  I wish I knew more about chess, since there are probably multiple hidden chess motifs and moves we might identify.  For example, it's been drawn to my attention that if a pawn crosses the board it can become a queen (essentially adding an extra queen to a game which previously only had two), which if you think about it is what Baelish intends doing with Sansa his prime piece in the game!

Sorry this is so late. Its been a long couple of days.....Anyway, yes I agree with Baelish turning Sansa into a queen perhaps to protect himself as king. 

On 11/8/2016 at 1:16 PM, ravenous reader said:

Regarding 'rooks' and 'rookeries', great catch connecting (scare)crows to chess!  Like 'rooks' in chess, the crow or scarecrow figures also come in 'black' and 'white,' e.g. the black vs. white ravens, or the black Night's Watch brothers facing off against the white (br)Others on the other side of the board ...'under the sea the crows are white as snow...'  

The white ravens or white scarecrows could also be the kingsguard. And I love that you caught that about the crows underwater.

On 11/8/2016 at 1:16 PM, ravenous reader said:

Maybe Bran is a bit of a chess grand master himself considering he's a greenseer for whom a powerful chess piece like the rook would be emblematic, considering his association with crows and broken towers struck by lightning and noting how he 'perches' like a raven, crow or scarecrow on the 'bridge connecting the second floor of the rookery with the fourth floor of the belltower...'  That sounds like code to me for something of uncertain significance, perhaps even a checkmating chess move!  Any ideas?  I've read the rook is often instrumental in bringing about 'checkmate' in the chess endgame, which is precisely what we've been anticipating regarding Bran and his role in the impending Long Night/War for the Dawn.  The 'bell tower' might symbolise the embattled King -- bells are often rung for the death of kings, executions, rebellions, a king under siege in the case of the Battle of the Bells, the transfer of power, etc. -- so 'sending a rook to the belltower' might be a checkmate move?  Although the rook begins the game relatively hemmed in in its options, as the game progresses it acquires greater freedom of movement and becomes ever more deadly, perhaps reflecting Bran's progress from cripple to major player!

 I know that a lot of people consider Tyrion to be GRRM's self insert but maybe Bran could be as well. And you are right with the bridge connecting. It could be telling us how Winterfell can be breached without siege. There are plenty of similar situations; Arya and her explorations of the Red Keep; Meereen's sewer system; Casterly Rock's sewer system; the cave under Stormsend. And 'sending a rook to a belltower might be a checkmate' could very well be the idea and yes I agree that it could reflect Bran going from cripple to major player.

On 11/8/2016 at 1:16 PM, ravenous reader said:

In line with your scarecrow suggestion, rooks in chess have also been depicted as 'warders,' 'watchers' or 'beserkers' (wolfskin-wearing warriors associated with Odin) depending on the chess set, and fittingly in heraldic depictions the crenellated battlements may morph into horns, evoking @LmL's 'horned greenseers' and more specifically the outward-curving horned headdress of a court jester or fool such as Patchface, bringing us back to the scarecrow trilogy 'clever bird clever man clever fool'!

That is a fantastic find! The trilogy of one in the same.

On 11/8/2016 at 1:16 PM, ravenous reader said:

That's a fun one!  Do you think there might be an allusion to the whole red-on-black dragon vs. black-on-red dragon?  A door is a kind of shield, herald or sigil, so painting a black dragon on a red door would seem to indicate illegitimacy.  Is Dany illegitimate?

And yes I do think it does allude to the red/black dragon thing. As far as Dany being illegitimate as an interpretation of that song, I could agree because while Aegon VI may be a foil for Jon in terms of their journeys but as Aegon VI is destined to make Dany first, his journey is more of a foil for Dany and not Jon. So we could say the Dany/Aegon situation will be the fight between the virtues of having a female monarch versus a male monarch and perhaps Dany/Jon would really be the question of legitimacy vs illegitimacy. 

And here is something you would like from Paint it Black

Quote

No more will my green sea go turn a deeper blue
I could not foresee this thing happening to you

If I look hard enough into the setting sun
My love will laugh with me before the morning comes

 

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16 minutes ago, Pain killer Jane said:

And here is something you would like from Paint it Black

Quote

No more will my green sea go turn a deeper blue
I could not foresee this thing happening to you

If I look hard enough into the setting sun
My love will laugh with me before the morning comes

 

:)

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Re: sun/son

House Tarth's sigil is two suns on rose and two crescent moons on blue. 

Besides Brienne, Selwyn Tarth had one son, Galladon, and two daughters who died in the cradle.  

The moon is a common female symbol.  The moon cycle could be a depiction of the two babe's life cycle: a new moon being a symbol of new life and a crescent moon the length of time that new "life" was able to "shine," so to speak, thereby symbolizing the two babes that died in the cradle.  

The two suns could depict Selwyn's two sons/suns: Galladon and Brienne, who accidentally calls herself Selwyn's son a few times.  The sun as a female symbol is also presented in Martell's sigil.   The sun in their sigil is derived from Nymeria, a warrior woman that brought equal inheritance rights to Dorne.  That is, a sun can depict a woman taking on a typically masculine role.  Like being a knight. 

Side note: blue and rose are the background of House Tarth's sigil. Interesting. 

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A few pun and wordplay discussions got going on other threads recently. A number are just brief mentions. Here are the links, in case anyone missed them.

lump / plum / plume?

tomb / tummy - On the same thread, in a related discussion, Isobel Harper pointed out:

I wonder if GRRM is making a connection to womb/tomb/tummy?  Sansa feels bats fluttering "in her tummy," her tummy being a "cave"/womb... but tummy could be a pun on tomb....

Both discussions continued for several posts and, with help from ravenous reader, brought to light some ideas that help to further explain live birds flying out of pies at a wedding feast as well as the hatching of eggs, both of which were raised in the context of wordplay earlier in this thread.

mane / name

lying / lies

thinking / thin king

wolf / flow / fowl - the "fowl" revelation has not been discussed on this thread yet.

dice / dice

ragged / Gared - I believe we are being given a hint that Moqorro is a turncloak. I think we've discussed in this thread (or somewhere else in the forum? I'll try to check) that ragged clothing is often associated with Night's Watch deserters. In the link, Moqorro is very ragged when he meets Victarion.

And, finally, another anagram because I just can't resist: Mole's Town = Two Lemons. Also, Lost Women. (I tossed this out in a non-wordplay discussion in the "The Caves are Timeless" thread, but thought it might be worth including here, too.)

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Waymar, Sable, Grumkins and Gelmarr?

You know how Hitchcock always made a cameo appearance in each of his films? Do you think George R. R. Martin is doing something similar in these books?

Of course, these are books so his cameo appearances would have to take a literary form and, perhaps, employ a little wordplay as a thin disguise.

@ravenous reader and @evita mgfs started the ball rolling on this idea when they noticed in the AGoT prologue that Will, Gared and Waymar represent William Shakespeare, Edgar Allan Poe and George R. R. Martin. (Their original analysis was on the Bran's Growing Powers re-read thread.)

A Sable = A Marten

In a recent discussion of the sable garment worn by Ser Waymar, I noted that the animal known as a sable is a species within the family called martens. Is it possible that any character who wears sable alludes to G. R. R. Martin? Besides Ser Waymar, those who wear sable:

  • Night's Watch brother Thoren Smallwood (wearing Ser Jaremy Rykker's cloak which, interestingly, we never hear described as sable until after Rykker is already dead).
  • Hallyne, the pyromancer
  • Mace Tyrell, Ser Loras and Ser Garlan: "The three dressed alike, in green velvet trimmed with sable."
  • Ramsay Snow, who gives his sable cloak to the first Reek so the Winterfell soldiers will mistake him for Ramsay and kill the servant instead of Ramsay.
  • Denys Mallister, commander of the Shadow Tower for the Night's Watch
  • Tommen at Tywin's funeral is the only one in a sable mantle; most references are to cloaks
  • Lord Baelor Blacktyde, whose sable cloak is taken by
  • Euron Greyjoy
  • Two hundred Night's Watch men, "Mounted in solemn sable ranks with tall spears in hand," watching "Mance" burn in a cage.
  • A "twisted" and "stooped" northern lord at Ramsay's table in the Dreadfort
  • Lady Walda (Frey) Bolton
  • Sable Hall is one of the Night's Watch castles Jon reopens
  • Lady Dustin wears sable when she goes to the Winterfell crypt with Theon.

The list seems too long and diverse to represent GRRM in every case, but maybe there is a pattern. They are all high-born, except for Jon's NW brothers, and the reference there may be a metaphorical reference to their black clothing instead of a literal description of the fabric from which their clothes are made. A number of the references seem to be closely connected to death, although there is so much death in the novels that this could be true of many garments. A marten isn't exactly the same thing as a weasel, but it's somewhat related. There are lots of weasel references in the books. Does wearing sable make the wearer weasel-like?

Grumkins = GRRMkins

Follow this link for a separate post from July 2016, where I suggested that the fairy tale references to creatures knowns as grumkins might be the author jokingly referring to himself, with particular reference to his power to kill off characters who do not believe in grumkins.

Gelmarr's Axe

A different thread sent me back to the books to reread a passage where Theon remembers that his Ironborn comrade, Gelmarr, killed Theon's former lover, the miller's wife, with an axe. The name Gelmarr, which includes the letters GRRM, may be another instance of the author reminding us of the power of life and death he holds over all the characters in the books.

I have heard that people write to GRRM, or meet him at ComicCon sessions, and beg him to "kill" them - write them in as characters and then kill them off in gruesome ways. Maybe these sly literary "cameos" (if that's what they are) is the author surreptitiously going about the business of killing off those whose time is up.

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I was listening to a POV in audiobook format and I noticed a name I had hard time relating to my previous reads. Sarella. Sarella's is pronounced almost the same as 'ciruela', a spanish word for a plum, which obviously led me to the Plumms which are fond of characters playing double agents. 

Also, Sarella's mother worked or was a captain of a ship called 'Feathered Kiss'. Feathered, again, in spanish is 'Beso Emplumado'. 

Now again, Ben Plumm ancestry feels like a chimera. Or even a sphinx. A little of these, a little of that.

Probably just wild coincidence. But the wordplay, if it was intentional, is actually awesome.

 

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On ‎12‎/‎25‎/‎2016 at 6:09 AM, King Merrett I Frey said:

I was listening to a POV in audiobook format and I noticed a name I had hard time relating to my previous reads. Sarella. Sarella's is pronounced almost the same as 'ciruela', a spanish word for a plum, which obviously led me to the Plumms which are fond of characters playing double agents. 

Also, Sarella's mother worked or was a captain of a ship called 'Feathered Kiss'. Feathered, again, in spanish is 'Beso Emplumado'. 

Now again, Ben Plumm ancestry feels like a chimera. Or even a sphinx. A little of these, a little of that.

Probably just wild coincidence. But the wordplay, if it was intentional, is actually awesome.

Nice catch.

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On 2-4-2016 at 9:18 PM, ravenous reader said:

If we're going Deutsch, then there's 'Gift' which means 'poison' in German -- and would have obvious relevance in terms of GRRM's cynical conception of giving 'The Gift'...

Remember 'all Euron's gifts are poisoned'...and Arya is not far behind!

Gift = "poison" certainly seems a link George uses throughout the books. I'm not sure it's a pun or wordplay, but I'll list some of them

  • Euron's gifts are poisoned
  • Giving the "gift" with the FM is giving (merciful) death through poison
  • The NW's Gift and especially Alysane's New Gift was a metaphorical poison for the North and the NW
  • Sansa is "gifted" a hairnet that has poison to kill Joffrey, and while LF helps her escape KL she ends up in the Eyrie as one of LF's pawns, having to hide her identity and in his power as her protector because she's now wanted for aiding a kingslaying
  • Joffrey received a Tyrell drinking cup as a wedding "gift", and believed to have been the vessel that  contained the poison that killed him
  • Another wedding "gift" had been Widow's Wail, and there are two widows wailing as Joffrey dies - Margaery and Cersei
  • Tyrion and other stuff are Illyrio's "gift" to JonCon, but Tyrion plants the seed in Aegon's mind to conquer Westeros on his own without Daenerys. The belief in his success varies, but most readers do speculate that even if he manages to chase Cersei and her remaining child(ren) out of KL, he will come to a bad end against Dany
  • Dany was also given wedding gifts: dragon eggs and her horse Silver. While on the one hand the dragons give her a martial benefit, they also come with a price. Viserys coveted those eggs and were partly what instigated or furthered the sibling relationship to become more antagonistic. While I have nothing good to say about Viserys and I'm glad he's dead, and it was great to see Dany come into her own in aGoT, she ended up not intervening in the execution of her mad downtrodden brother. Two of her dragons also end up burning Quentyn alive (who also presented himself as a gift from his father to her), and this is suspected to have its repercussions for her. Not sure about Silver, but the suspected Dothraki army might also have repercussions for her.
  • The wine seller wants to "gift" Dany the poisoned wine. The attempt on her life prompts Drogo to go on attacking the Lhazareen where he's wounded (and eventually gangreen) and she acquired MMD whose magic costs Dany her son's life.
  • Jorah was a gift to Viserys, but Jorah instead empowered Dany with self-confidence and turned away from Viserys.
  • Jon's gifted Longclaw, that ends up stuck in the scabbard in his hour of need (though Jeor does say he "earned" it)
  • Needle is Jon's secret gift to Arya. This prompted her to train with Mycah without anyone knowing it and without acquiring permission, which results in the Trident incident and eventually the loss of Nymeria and Lady's death.
  • Jaime gives Oathkeeper to Brienne and a permit from Tommen, and these two items condemn her in the eyes of LS.
  • Not sure anymore, but doesn't LF present Sansa as a type of gift to Lysa as well?
  • Lysa gifts a Myrish lens to maester Luwin, in a box containing a poisoned message to stir up the fire of hatred between Starks and Lannisters

As I said, Not sure that counts as a pun or wordplay. I'm good with metaphors and symbolism, because they pertain a visual aspect, evne if only in the mind. And I figure out puns and wordplay in a concrete context, but less good in them in an abstract manner. That is I can hear the auditive connections, but without seeing them in place in a scene, it sort of loses meaning to me. I appreciate @Seams for pointing out possibilities.

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howl / Wohl / well / whole / hole

Some good discussion in the Salt and the Black Gate thread, started by @pigpiginsunspear led me to revisit the tear / tear pun, and to point out a possible connection with the drop of salt water that falls on Bran as he passes through the Black Gate under the Night Fort.

In the same thread, @Lady Fishbiscuit and @The Fattest Leech suggested that the drop of salt water, the gate and the well leading to the gate present birth (or rebirth) and baptism imagery at this important milestone in Bran's story.

I hadn't thought much about the well before this thread led me to the topic. Over the last couple of days, I've been thinking more about wells - Tywin throwing the Tarbek heir in a well; Cersei's friend Melara Heatherspoon falling in a well; and the wells I mentioned in the linked tear / tear post (above).

Today, I came across this line in ACoK, Catelyn II: "... Catelyn dreamt that Bran was whole again." The wordplay wheels are always turning, and I wondered whether there might be a connection among the howl of a wolf, the German word "Wohl" (well, welfare, weal, well-being), whole and well. Certainly we see the comatose Bran become stronger when Robb opens the window so the howl of the direwolf can be heard in his bedchamber. The German word is relevant only as the bridge that connects the letters of "howl" to "well."

But how does the "well" that describes health connect to the "well" where water is drawn up in a bucket, if at all? In the books, some people drown in wells. Nasty people emerge from a hiding place in a well when Brienne reaches Crackclaw Point.

In that same tear / tear post, I started to speculate about a connection in GRRM's symbolism, where torn fabric is symbolized by a "tear" (a drop of salt water), and that the kind of hole created by these "tears" (ripped fabric) is often found in a tower or a well. So "whole" (associated with wellness) leads to "hole" (as in, "a hole in the ground"). This would work only if you recognize the constant death and rebirth imagery GRRM applies to dozens of characters throughout the books.

Maybe this even explains why Sandor Clegane is digging graves as a form of rehab: holes in the ground will make him whole. (Maybe even holy?)

The floor is open, if anyone has other ideas about this string of puns, or how we are supposed to know whether a well is a place to be healthy or a place to die - or both.

Edit: I am finishing a review of the 2016 nominees for top posts in the forum, and just re-read the OP for Sly Wren's excellent post, A horn? No. A Wolf! Jon, Ghost, and the Horn that Wakes the Sleepers. I hadn't actively followed that discussion but I see now that the howl / whole wordplay is a perfect fit in support of the ideas there. Nice work, Sly Wren!

Edited by Seams

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1 minute ago, OtherFromAnotherMother said:

@Seams

Has sweet/sweat been mentioned? 

I skimmed through and didn't see it. I could have missed it though.

Interesting! Sweet is a really intriguing word in ASOIAF but I hadn't recognized a connection with sweat. How do you see them relating to each other?

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22 minutes ago, Seams said:

Interesting! Sweet is a really intriguing word in ASOIAF but I hadn't recognized a connection with sweat. How do you see them relating to each other?

Sweets strokes the brow of Yezzan's sweaty hair. 

Quote

Sweets gave them both a desperate look. "Yezzan must not die." The hermaphrodite stroked the brow of their gargantuan master, pushing back his sweat-damp hair. 

Cersei, right before her walk of shame:

Quote

The morning air was thick with the old familiar stinks of King's Landing. She breathed in the scents of sour wine, bread baking, rotting fish and nightsoil, smoke and sweat and horse piss. No flower had ever smelled so sweet

I'm not sure if I'm doing this right, let me know if this isn't the goal here. My feelings won't be hurt.

Philology and linguistics are not my strongsuit. This is especially evident after reading through some of the other posts on here. :blush: 

Edited by OtherFromAnotherMother

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30 minutes ago, OtherFromAnotherMother said:

Sweets strokes the brow of Yezzan's sweaty hair. 

Cersei, right before her walk of shame:

I'm not sure if I'm doing this right, let me know if this isn't the goal here. My feelings won't be hurt.

Philology and linguistics are not my strongsuit. This is especially evident after reading through some of the other posts on here. :blush: 

We got the easy puns and anagrams out of the way already, I think. Now the interesting, complex possibilities are coming up and sweet / sweat may be one of them. I don't think there's a right or wrong - just a chance to explore ideas. Some don't pan out (Horus and horse didn't seem to be a match) and some are still unresolved (horse and whores is still not entirely clear to me). So sweet and sweat sounds like an interesting challenge. The examples you provided are excellent. I'll try to put some thought into it and maybe some other word sleuths in the forum will offer ideas as well.

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1 hour ago, OtherFromAnotherMother said:

@Seams

Has sweet/sweat been mentioned? 

I skimmed through and didn't see it. I could have missed it though.

Here's another from TPatQ:

 The next morning, Ser Hobert Hightower called upon him, to thrash out the details of their assault upon King’s Landing. He brought with him two casks of wine as a gift, one of Dornish red and one of Arbor gold. Though Ulf the Sot had never tasted a wine he did not like, he was known to be partial to the sweeter vintages. No doubt Ser Hobert hoped to sip the sour red whilst Lord Ulf quaffed down the Arbor gold. Yet something about Hightower’s manner—he was sweating and stammering and too hearty by half, the squire who served them testified later—pricked White’s suspicions. Wary, he commanded that the Dornish red be set aside for later, and insisted Ser Hobert share the Arbor gold with him.

Ser Hobert Hightower's sweating cost him his life.  The sweet Arbor Gold had poison in it.  Ser Hobert tried to make himself vomit after Ulf the White fell asleep, but it was too late.  The poison (sweetsleep) had already begun to take effect.

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28 minutes ago, Isobel Harper said:

Here's another from TPatQ:

 The next morning, Ser Hobert Hightower called upon him, to thrash out the details of their assault upon King’s Landing. He brought with him two casks of wine as a gift, one of Dornish red and one of Arbor gold. Though Ulf the Sot had never tasted a wine he did not like, he was known to be partial to the sweeter vintages. No doubt Ser Hobert hoped to sip the sour red whilst Lord Ulf quaffed down the Arbor gold. Yet something about Hightower’s manner—he was sweating and stammering and too hearty by half, the squire who served them testified later—pricked White’s suspicions. Wary, he commanded that the Dornish red be set aside for later, and insisted Ser Hobert share the Arbor gold with him.

Ser Hobert Hightower's sweating cost him his life.  The sweet Arbor Gold had poison in it.  Ser Hobert tried to make himself vomit after Ulf the White fell asleep, but it was too late.  The poison (sweetsleep) had already begun to take effect.

Nice! I was trying to find something that was going to involve sweetsleep but would not have thought to look at The Princess and the Queen. I still feel like there could be more out there. But that is a great one!

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This is fun. Does it help to dig down to the meaning of this wordplay if we look for a general rule that covers the situations the author uses them?

In some cases, the sweet and sweat imagery seems to be a pairing of opposites, with a measure of poison involved.

In the case of Sweets the hermaphrodite with the sweating Yezzan, we find out later that Tyrion has poisoned Sweets with some of the mushrooms he has been carrying in his shoe. So Sweets doesn't actually cause Yezzan's illness, but there is an underlying poison that will prevent the obese slaveholder from recovering.

In the excerpt featuring Cersei, she has just emerged from her underground cell, and she appreciates the smell of sweat (among other aromas associated with the city), saying that the sweat IS sweet. The sour wine is in the mix here again. I wonder whether Cersei's positive association with sweat is intended to show us that she is just a nasty person, who thrives in an environment that others would find repulsive? We'd probably have to analyze her list of smells in order to put sweat in context: sour wine, bread baking, rotting fish and nightsoil, smoke and sweat and horse piss. All of those items are freighted with symbolic meaning. Bread, for instance, is associated with pain because of the pun on the French word for bread, le pain, discussed earlier on this thread.

I wonder if GRRM's purpose in showing Cersei's appreciation for sweat is intended to compare and contrast with this early passage from Robert, who is an enthusiastic fan of Highgarden and all of the southern towns, not just King's Landing:

“You need to come south,” Robert told him. “You need a taste of summer before it flees. In Highgarden there are fields of golden roses that stretch away as far as the eye can see. The fruits are so ripe they explode in your mouth—melons, peaches, fireplums, you’ve never tasted such sweetness. You’ll see, I brought you some. Even at Storm’s End, with that good wind off the bay, the days are so hot you can barely move. And you ought to see the towns, Ned! Flowers everywhere, the markets bursting with food, the summerwines so cheap and so good that you can get drunk just breathing the air. Everyone is fat and drunk and rich.” He laughed and slapped his own ample stomach a thump. “And the girls, Ned!” he exclaimed, his eyes sparkling. “I swear, women lose all modesty in the heat. They swim naked in the river, right beneath the castle. Even in the streets, it’s too damn hot for wool or fur, so they go around in these short gowns, silk if they have the silver and cotton if not, but it’s all the same when they start sweating and the cloth sticks to their skin, they might as well be naked.” The king laughed happily.

The passage you cited occurs just before Cersei is about to walk naked through King's Landing, like the women Robert enjoyed watching. (There may also be some Catelyn foreshadowing there, with the bit about swimming in the river beneath the castle.) In Robert's description, sweat is a wonderful side-effect of summer heat, along with the ripe fruit that explodes in your mouth. I recall that Aerys ordered that the wildfire grenades prepared by the alchemists should be made in the shapes of fruit. Are those also the "taste of summer"?

Maybe it's not so much about hidden poison, but the sweat seems to betray the hidden aspect of the thing that appears to be sweet: wildfire grenades made to look like fruit show that sweetness may be only a superficial shell over something deadly. Sweat reveals the truth? And since sweat is a symptom of illness and of summer heat, maybe we can expect more secrets to be revealed when summer is restored to Westeros.

P.S. I would also note that Robert's advice to Ned that he should come south begins with "You need a taste of summer before it flees." The taste of Summer that occurs over and over again in the books is Bran warging his direwolf and tasting blood in his mouth when the wolf hunts. It sounds as if Robert is telling Ned to warg into a wolf and have some blood. (We know though, that the "taste of Summer" is deceptive: Jojen reminds Bran that eating while warging is not the same thing as nourishing his own body.) Not to get too far removed from the sweet / sweat stuff, but I bet the word "flee" is part of the leaf / flea wordplay. Summer the direwolf does have to flee Winterfell along with Bran and Rickon. Lots of interesting foreshadowing in that Robert excerpt.

Edited by Seams

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