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30 minutes ago, Seams said:

Treason / Tree son

AHAHAHAAHAHAAAAA :rofl:

Sorry, this is too funny that it may accidentally be true ... but I'm just thinking of Bloodraventree and Craster

A Game of Thrones - Sansa V (to unlock the secret message, you swap Sansa/Joffery for Bran/3EC)
"Thank you, Your Grace." Sansa smiled, a shy secret smile, just for him. He was listening. She knew he would.
"Treason is a noxious weed," Pycelle declared solemnly. "It must be torn up, root and stem and seed, lest new traitors sprout from every roadside."
"Do you deny your father's crime?" Lord Baelish asked.

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@sweetsunray what a fucking awesome catch with hair and heir!!! It does explain why George's eununchs are bald (though I suspect Varys' head could be shaved).

You got me thinking about Aegon V. His hair is shaved again and again in his youth, but it does insist on growing back in. His hairline is not receeding, but his hair betrays his purpuse to keep his Targaryen identity hidden. I think this could parallel with him ending up with heirs that refuse to do as he bids them, perhaps?

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@Seams

On 8/31/2019 at 11:18 PM, Seams said:

Treason / Tree son

I don't know why this never occurred to me before. Ned is found guilt of treason. Ned has a tree son.

Maybe.

Hi Seams! I'm originally an ASOIAF Redditor and have since moved my discussion of ASOIAF to Twitter. I have never been very active on this forum but have since become friends with some of those who have. I'm also really into wordplay within the series and have heard of you as a result (most often via my good friend @ravenous reader).

 

I've also noticed the treason/tree-son wordplay GRRM seems to be using. The first time I noticed it was when I came across the passage that @The Map Guy quotes. But there are many more where it makes sense. 

Quote

"At the end a dragon hatches from an egg and devours all of the lions."

The ending took the puppet show from simple insolence to treason. "Witless fools. Only cretins would hazard their heads upon a wooden dragon."

Hatching a wooden dragon = tree son.

Quote

The eunuch’s smile never flickered, but his eyes glittered with something that was not laughter. “You are kind to ask, my lord, but my tale is long and sad, and we have treasons to discuss.” He drew a parchment from the sleeve of his robe. “The master of the King’s Galley White Hart plots to slip anchor three days hence to offer his sword and ship to Lord Stannis.”

White h[e]art = weirwood.

Quote

As they left, she turned to Sansa. “Another lesson you should learn, if you hope to sit beside my son. Be gentle on a night like this and you’ll have treasons popping up all about you like mushrooms after a hard rain

Quote

"Treason…is only a word."

Or two...

 

Those are just a few. Much of it is merely to reinforce greenseer symbolism.

Also, you may be interested in an essay I wrote regarding GRRM's use of 'True' and 'Tree':

Wed to the Tree

Cheers!

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10 hours ago, Rusted Revolver said:

@Seams

Hi Seams! I'm originally an ASOIAF Redditor and have since moved my discussion of ASOIAF to Twitter. I have never been very active on this forum but have since become friends with some of those who have. I'm also really into wordplay within the series and have heard of you as a result (most often via my good friend @ravenous reader).

 

I've also noticed the treason/tree-son wordplay GRRM seems to be using. The first time I noticed it was when I came across the passage that @The Map Guy quotes. But there are many more where it makes sense. 

Hatching a wooden dragon = tree son.

White h[e]art = weirwood.

Or two...

 

Those are just a few. Much of it is merely to reinforce greenseer symbolism.

Also, you may be interested in an essay I wrote regarding GRRM's use of 'True' and 'Tree':

Wed to the Tree

Cheers!

The irony of course is that the treason is committed against the people knowingly putting or keeping a fraud on the throne, that they all seek someone who stands for "truth" instead.

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Quote

"At the end a dragon hatches from an egg and devours all of the lions."

The ending took the puppet show from simple insolence to treason. "Witless fools. Only cretins would hazard their heads upon a wooden dragon."

 

13 hours ago, Rusted Revolver said:

Hatching a wooden dragon = tree son.

This is terrific! It might help to explain the level of detail in the Hedge Knight incident between the puppeteer Tanselle and Prince Aerion "Brightflame": The prince attacks Tanselle because her puppet show ends with the beheading of a dragon and red saw dust pouring from the dragon's neck. I believe Tanselle is a symbolic Missy Blackwood / Bloodraven. If the red saw dust foreshadows the eventual replacement of dragon monarchs with red tree monarchs, Aerion's anger takes on a deeper meaning.

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On 8/31/2019 at 11:59 PM, The Map Guy said:

AHAHAHAAHAHAAAAA :rofl:

Sorry, this is too funny that it may accidentally be true ... but I'm just thinking of Bloodraventree and Craster

A Game of Thrones - Sansa V (to unlock the secret message, you swap Sansa/Joffery for Bran/3EC)
"Thank you, Your Grace." Sansa smiled, a shy secret smile, just for him. He was listening. She knew he would.
"Treason is a noxious weed," Pycelle declared solemnly. "It must be torn up, root and stem and seed, lest new traitors sprout from every roadside."
"Do you deny your father's crime?" Lord Baelish asked.

Ooh, that’s good. Think of John the Fiddler/ Daemon Targ-Blackfyre that pops up along the road in D&E who is only there to commit treason, as Bloodraven so smartly knows. 

This is the moral question posited and recited in the Mystery Knight, “ Is the boy his father's son?"

adding: Now that I think about it, this same story that questions treasons in un-rightful rulers (sons of)  is where we are also introduced to the Frey’s and snot nosed Lord Walder as a wee child, who then later in life commits crimes against his king, and in TMK Bloodraven tells the Frey’s he will deal with them later... bring on Nymeria and her wolf pack!!! 

Also, GRRM has used this “sons of” treason idea before. In his story For A Single Yesterday, he has a rogue bunch of army dudes that were sworn to protect now out and about terrorizing survivors of a nuclear (dragon) blast. This group is called Sons of the Blast (SoB), but the good guys call them SoB’s for other reasons. 

Edited by The Fattest Leech

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On 9/3/2019 at 8:38 AM, Seams said:

This is terrific! It might help to explain the level of detail in the Hedge Knight incident between the puppeteer Tanselle and Prince Aerion "Brightflame": The prince attacks Tanselle because her puppet show ends with the beheading of a dragon and red saw dust pouring from the dragon's neck. I believe Tanselle is a symbolic Missy Blackwood / Bloodraven. If the red saw dust foreshadows the eventual replacement of dragon monarchs with red tree monarchs, Aerion's anger takes on a deeper meaning

I agree. Especially about Tanselle = Symbolic Bloodraven. I've even considered Tanselle literally being BR in disguise - the Maynard Plumm of The Hedge Knight. Although, that is probably going too far.  :)

The puppet show is the trigger which eventually leads to the death of the Hand of the King and BR's appointment as the new Hand. So a symbolic BR sets in motion a chain of events that ends with BR as the new Hand. Quite the puppet master, indeed.

 

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5 hours ago, Rusted Revolver said:

I agree. Especially about Tanselle = Symbolic Bloodraven. I've even considered Tanselle literally being BR in disguise - the Maynard Plumm of The Hedge Knight. Although, that is probably going too far.  :)

The puppet show is the trigger which eventually leads to the death of the Hand of the King and BR's appointment as the new Hand. So a symbolic BR sets in motion a chain of events that ends with BR as the new Hand. Quite the puppet master, indeed.

We're on the same wavelength!

 

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Wow. Started reading that thread @Seams but can't finish it at the moment. What I've read so far is really great! Can't wait to finish it.

Have you ever paid much attention to the illustrations in the Kot7K? There are some really great ones that reinforce the symbolism.

Link to a tweet with illustration because I don't know how to upload images here.

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1 hour ago, Rusted Revolver said:

Wow. Started reading that thread @Seams but can't finish it at the moment. What I've read so far is really great! Can't wait to finish it.

Have you ever paid much attention to the illustrations in the Kot7K? There are some really great ones that reinforce the symbolism.

Link to a tweet with illustration because I don't know how to upload images here.

Yes! Love the illustrations. I think GRRM worked very closely with the artist because there are many important hints that are conveyed by the illustrations. The death of Prince Baelor is very significant, I think. It's also significant, I suspect, that some things are not shown - I suspect we will never see a picture of Maester Cerrick, for instance.

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On 9/3/2019 at 12:55 PM, The Fattest Leech said:

TMK Bloodraven tells the Frey’s he will deal with them later... bring on Nymeria and her wolf pack!!!

Or sounds like Bloodraven may make a stop at the Twins in ADOS ... should be interesting

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On 9/7/2019 at 11:25 PM, The Map Guy said:

Or sounds like Bloodraven may make a stop at the Twins in ADOS ... should be interesting

Yeah, that is somewhat what I was thinking as well, just using the old godsy direwolf symbols/sigil (which is a magical term) instead. 

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I once found in one of the books, a boy wondering why a dragonfly (the big insect) was so-called when it does not look much like a dragon. That text likely has caused nuisance to translaters, e.g. the French for "dragonfly" and "dragon" are "libellule" and "dragon".

 

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Frog / Forage / Forge

This post was inspired by a recent thread discussing Janos Slynt, but I think it's a better fit for this thread, since it focuses on wordplay as the basis for a pattern that repeats in the books.

Janos Slynt is compared to a frog:

Stout, jowly Janos Slynt puffed himself up like an angry frog, his bald pate reddening (AGoT, Chap. 27, Eddard VI).

'Rich,' said the big frog-faced man, taking a healthy gulp. He was not a man for sipping, Janos Slynt (ACoK, Chap. 8, Tyrion II).

When he joins the Windblown mercenary company, Quentyn Martell is nicknamed "Frog" by his undercover companions.

In Dorne, Quentyn Martell had been a prince, In Volantis a merchant's man, but on the shores of slaver's Bay he was only Frog, squire to the big bald Dornish knight the sellswords called Greenguts. The men of the Windblown used what names they would, and changed them at a whim. They'd fastened Frog on him because he hopped so fast when the big man shouted a command.  (ADwD, Chap. 25, The Windblown).

There is a minor character mentioned in The Sworn Sword who may be a variation on this "frog" motif:

. . . Dake foraged for us. He was as fine a forager as I ever knew. We never marched on empty bellies.

...

'Your ladyship rode onto Standfast land, and did harm to one of Ser Eustace's' Dunk said, before he stopped to think about it.

'Did I?' She tugged her braid again. 'If you mean the sheep-stealer, the man was notorious. I had twice complained to Osgrey, yet he did nothing. I do not ask thrice. The king's law grants me the power of pit and gallows.'

I realize that a "forager" is not the same thing as a "frog," but the wordplay connection exists alongside some other details that might be enough to provide some insight into an interesting pattern.

  • Each of the men in this frog / forage group is lowborn - Quentyn Martell is a prince in real life, but the frog identity is deliberately chosen to disguise him as a lowly squire.
  • The three men (Slynt, Quentyn and Dake) are sacrificed or killed after doing loyal work for their liege lords: Dake is drowned for stealing a sheep, Quentyn is burned while stealing a dragon, Slynt is beheaded while trying to turn the Night's Watch against Jon Snow and toward the Lannisters.
  • The motif of the water shortage and stolen water in The Sworn Sword may connect Dake to the Drinkwater motif associated with Quentyn Martell (and Quentyn Ball, but that's a story for another day). Dake actually gets too much water when he is sewn into a weighted sack and drowned in Rohanne Webber's moat.
  • Dake and Quentyn both die as a result of stealing an animal. Dake is executed for stealing a sheep which is an animal closely associated with taming a dragon. Quentyn has his companions bring along a sheep for his attempt to steal one of Dany's dragons. I don't see animal theft as a literal part of Slynt's story although you could make a case that he tries to steal the raven associated with the Lord Commander of the Night's Watch, failing in his attempt when Jon is declared the winner of the L.C. voting.

Probably off topic but also interesting:

There is a cloak in The Sworn Sword that starts out white but turns yellow with age. Eustace Osgrey forgets the name of Dake several times and refers to him as Lem. In ASOIAF, Lem Lemoncloak wears a yellow cloak (but readers suspect he is actually Richard Lonmouth, a squire who served Prince Rhaegar). At one point someone jokes with Lem that his cloak used to be white until he pissed on it.

I've speculated in this Puns and Wordplay thread about possible wordplay around "forge" and "forget."  Later, I tried to work out a possible link between "frogeaters" and "forgetters."

Now I'm thinking the "forge" connection is what is meaningful with these "frog" and "forage" characters. When these characters die, a forge is being destroyed. Every Lord needs a forge with a smith who can make and repair armor and weapons. Destroying someone's forge takes away a major piece of their power (for defense or offense).

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Rhaegal kills Quentyn aka Frog

Jon kills Janos, who is described like a frog

Jojen & Meera Reed are called frog-eaters, which requires killing frogs

Hmmmmm ... just some food for thought :idea:

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On 9/27/2019 at 12:11 PM, Anthony Appleyard said:

I once found in one of the books, a boy wondering why a dragonfly (the big insect) was so-called when it does not look much like a dragon. That text likely has caused nuisance to translaters, e.g. the French for "dragonfly" and "dragon" are "libellule" and "dragon".

 

Very interesting. I just looked up dragonfly in this crossword dictionary database https://www.crosswordsolver.com/clue/DRAGONFLY and it's associated with the crossword answer NYMPH, a supernatural being associated with other natural female spirits (e.g. air, seas, woods, water, etc.). That makes a bit of sense in this context.

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Posted (edited)

mast / mast / maester / mastiff / stamm

Apparently I have spammed the forum with this wordplay possibility but never posted it in this wordplay thread. I'm glad to get in an index post before this thread runs out of pages and is locked.

I think the mast / mastiff connection began because of Marwyn's nickname, "the mastiff," and Sam Tarly's famous "fat pink mast" interlude. Because the two characters soon but briefly connect, I thought GRRM might be giving us a wordplay clue about the nature of their relationship or common purpose.

I put out some questions in 2018 but could not offer much by way of insight or explanation of the overlapping motifs of wind, sails and masts:

And I had completely forgotten about the following more focused comment about masts, part of a dialogue which might help clarify the Lightbringer / Azor Ahai identity. Walda made the astoundingly good catch about Sam Tarly being able to pick up a burning ember without being burned while Stannis, by contrast, must take obvious precautions with gloves and a leather cloak to prevent himself from being burned by a flaming sword stuck into a burning mast.

More recently, sweetsunray started a really good discussion that offers a new perspective on Mirri Maz Duur. I found myself peeling back some layers of symbolism and making new connections that probably help to illuminate mast symbolism, again starting with Sam and Marwyn but looking at the people connected to them as part of their circle of influence (if that's the right phrase) and parallels between story lines.

I'm not sure whether the stream / maester wordplay is part of the same "mast" set of symbols. It seems to be part of a flowing water motif so it might be different from the masts. (Although flowing streams and masts are both phallic symbols, in their own ways.) Maybe Sam and Marwyn are exceptions among maesters because of their mast / mastiff symbolism while the other maesters are all on "team stream." Here is an early inquiry about maester / stream wordplay, just in case it ties into this:

On 1/4/2019 at 4:05 PM, Seams said:

Maesters and the tension between them and alchemists. In my slow re-read of the Dunk & Egg stories, it finally occurred to me that there is wordplay on "maester" and "stream." The idea of history (usually written by maesters) as a river or stream makes some sense, but some rivers have more than one fork; other rivers change course (e.g. at the inn at the crossroads); other rivers have oxbows that may rejoin a river when the flow is high. Sometimes people build bridges across streams, other times they wade in and ford the streams. Understanding the role that maesters play in killing off the dragon population may help to expose their larger role in the books, and vice versa.

I know no one wants to wade through a bunch of threads to try to guess what my point might be, so I'll try to summarize my new line of thinking.

  • Masts are tied to fertility. The "fat pink mast" clue is a very helpful key to this, but it is not the only one.
  • Ships are eggs and key characters are reborn after emerging from a ship. Dragons also emerge from eggs.
  • Melisandre burns the special Targaryen masts that have been turned into religious icons of the Seven Gods. The burning is resented by Lord Monford Velaryon. (I believe that House Velaryon and their Waters / Longwaters descendants represent the seagoing branch of the Targaryen family, so they would be especially angry about the destruction of ships and masts.) I have always wondered whether the burning of Stannis's fleet at the Blackwater was due to magic intervention from Melisandre, who resented that she was sent away from Stannis at this important turning point in the War of the Five Kings. If so, she is a destroyer of both masts and ships, including Lord Velaryon's ships and the lord himself.
  • Aside from Marwyn's mastiff nickname, mastiff dogs appear in the scene where Theon is taking a hunting party into the woods to find Bran and Rickon. The irony is that the "stiff mast" dogs do not find the missing Stark boys and that Theon will soon be castrated, losing any stiff mast possibilities in his future but perhaps confirming that mastiffs are part of the fertility / phallic symbolism relating to masts.
  • Because of the phallic symbolism of the masts, the bonfire can be taken as a symbolic attempt to wipe out the fertility of the Targaryen clan - ironic, perhaps, because Stannis and his wife have limited success with fertility (their daughter, Shireen, may be like the last, stunted dragon that Ser Arlan of Pennytree describes to Dunk). In close proximity to the burning of the masts, Stannis sends out letters informing the seven kingdoms that Robert did not have legitimate children with Cersei.
  • Masts are made of wood and are like trees - they can be climbed, they have yard arms (maybe linked to the profuse arm and hand imagery throughout the books) and they accommodate sails, which tie into the important wind symbolism in the books (as well as fabric, sheets, ropes, etc.). The sails may be like leaves on a tree.
  • Burning masts is like cutting down trees. Burning religious icon masts is like cutting down weirwood heart trees. Melisandre's destruction of the Targaryen masts is like the Andals cutting down weirwood trees, provoking the ire of the children of the forest.

But wait! There's more!

I had always wondered why GRRM was so specific about Tyrion feeding acorns to Pretty Pig, the animal he rides in the mummer jousting act with Penny.

From wikipedia:

Quote

Mast is the fruit of forest trees and shrubs, such as acorns and other nuts. The term derives from the Old English mæst, meaning the nuts of forest trees that have accumulated on the ground, especially those used historically for fattening domestic pigs, and as food resources for wildlife.

So the "fat pink mast" is connected to "mast" acorns fed to the fat pink pig, served up on board a ship where the mast is about to snap off in a storm. Acorns have to be part of the major "seed is strong" symbolism as the nuts that could become oak trees, so there is more fertility symbolism for us here.

After rejecting Joffrey's demand that he ride the pig (or dog?) and resisting Penny's invitation, Tyrion finally rides the pig when the ship is becalmed and the crew (seamen? implied wordplay on semen, anyone?) threaten to harm him and/or the pig. A fat pink (pig) mast is born.

I believe the breaking of the old mast aboard the Selaesori Qhoran represents the end of Tywin Lannister's dominance as Hand of the King (stinky steward) and the "birth" of Tyrion Lannister's rise to power. Luckily, Tyrion has been nurturing that fat pig with mast so he is ready when the old mast breaks off (accompanied by dragon-hatching imagery).

Something huge flapped overhead, and Tyrion glanced up in time to see the sail taking wing, with two men still dangling from the lines. Then he heard a crack. Oh bloody hell, he had time to think, that had to be the mast. ...

Then the mast burst.

Tyrion never saw it, but he heard it. That cracking sound again and then a scream of tortured wood, and suddenly the air was full of shards and splinters. ...

By the time the storm abated ... the Selaesori Qhoran was a broken thing ... her mast a splintered ruin no taller than a dwarf. ...

(ADwD, Tyrion IX, Chap. 40)

I have so much faith in the wordplay genius of GRRM that I also wonder whether he ties the phallic mast imagery back to the acorn / tree fertility by alluding to the word "Stamm," a German word that can range in meaning from stem, root, tribe, trunk to clan.

Remember how the Unsullied eunuchs are cut "stem and root"? I bet this is the phallic connection to Stamm and, therefore, confirmation of the wordplay connection to the phallic mast symbol as well as the tree connection. Cutting a young man "stem and root" would foreclose his opportunity to expand his tribe or clan as well.

In addition to the shipwreck passages cited in red, above, Tyrion tells us that "surviving passengers and crew came crawling back on deck, like pale pink worms wriggling to the surface after a rain ..." GRRM often compares tree roots to wriggling snakes so I suspect the wriggling worms are part of the system of nourishment for the new tree / mast that is taking root after the storm.

So this mast wordplay seems like a fairly central clue to the symbolism surrounding "the seed is strong," heirs, pretenders, usurpers, bastards, celibacy vows, eunuchs, gay men, the "flowering" of maids and all of the related fertility plot points in ASOIAF.

A related tangent, as is my wont: I recently re-read Arya's POV where she expresses a desire to be a hairless pink otter that could swim through the God's Eye to get closer to Winterfell. As I read, it crossed my mind that the image was like a sperm that has the mission of fertilizing an egg. I couldn't think why GRRM would portray a sperm cell as a hairless pink otter, but the pink pig and pink worms in Tyrion's Selaesori Qhoran scenes might help to bridge the imagery gap a bit. Arya is still disguised as the boy Arry at that point, which might explain why she is a sperm instead of an egg.

Edited by Seams

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