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Puns and Wordplay


Seams
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On 4/20/2016 at 4:41 PM, evita mgfs said:

YOU ARE GOING TO DIE!  RAVENOUS READER AND I JUST FIGURED THAT OUT ON BRAN'S GROWING POWERS THREAD!!!:rofl:

RAVENOUS READER SAID:

If Will  = Shakespeare = ('one with') the environment = natural order = the hierarchy of authors;

and if Ser Waymar desires to disrupt the natural order;

assuming my thesis that Martin surreptitiously desires to silence or subvert Shakespeare;

Then the upstart lordling = GRRM!

Considering his penchant of constructing things in threes, why would GRRM make playful allusions to two writers, without doing the same for the third ranger?

Assuming this symmetry holds true, this suggests that 'Ser Waymar' is also 'way more' than we think he is!

I've tried playing with various permutations of GRRM's full name, 'George Raymond Richard Martin' but this is the best I can come up with:

Way-mar = Mar-tin

Ray-mond = Way-mar...!  (granted, maybe I am overreaching here!)

Do any of you have some more convincing ideas about the meta-significance of this ('minor') character?

 

THEN I SAID:

 

MIND BLOWN! AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN!!!

 I LOVE THE MAR-TIN THING, AND IF I MAY ADD, Royce's cloak is made of fur from  MARTEN !  HAR HAR HAR!!!!

I THINK IT IS TRUE - MARTIN/MARTEN AND YOUR WORD PLAY - Martin aligns himself with the two writers he pays homage to, doesn't he?  We must look out for a homage to William Golding!

SO YOU BEST HIE TO SEAMS WITH YOUR AWESOME PUNNING!!!

It must be true - great minds DO think alike!

I wish I knew how to tag like RR does.  I will have to ask her how she does that!

I think it is hilarious how we all came up with it at the same time!:cheers:

How about Waymar “marring the way”??

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10 hours ago, Nadden said:

How about Waymar “marring the way”??

You've posted this several times. What if we agree with you and say, "Wow. Great catch." Now you can stop spamming this thread.

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On 6/3/2021 at 2:20 AM, Seams said:

Myths / Smith

Legend / Leg end = foot

Rain / Reyne / Rhaenys / Rhaena 

Very new ideas and not yet entirely confirmed by passages from the books.

While walking the dogs today, I started wondering whether myths and smiths are a wordplay pair in ASOIAF. Smiths are people who make things or just workers in general: "According to Septon Meribald, the Smith can also be refer to as the Farmer, the Fisherman, the Carpenter, or the Cobbler as they all represent workers" (Wiki, citing AFfC, Brienne V). Catelyn prays to the Smith to help Bran; Davos makes offerings to the Smith before launching a new ship. 

If GRRM sees stories as something that can be crafted, then a link from smiths to myths could be a really interesting hint to readers. I wish I could remember who it was in this forum that pointed out that "named" chapters are probably parallels or replays of Westeros legends. If true, a connection between myths and smiths could help us to understand more about GRRM's structure of the books and the potential metaphor between weapons and armor (produced by smiths) and stories or myths.

But.

The word myth appears only three times in the books. All three uses of the word are in The World of Ice and Fire. The word "myth" never appears in the novels. I wonder whether GRRM avoids the word "myth" because it too strongly implies that a story is untrue; he is more likely to present a story as possibly true and possibly rumor - the unreliable narrator. Because the World book has co-authors, I wonder whether these uses of the word "myth" were introduced by the other writers and are not part of a deliberate word pair with the important smith archetype in the books. Even if GRRM did introduce the use of the word in the World book, it is not associate at any point with smiths. My gut tells me that GRRM's wordplay is usually more deliberate.

A link between legends and leg ends would be a giant step (so to speak) toward solving a longtime mystery: the symbolism of feet. If "leg end" is another word for a "foot," we may finally have a way to make sense of the foot references in the books. I noticed long ago that GRRM has fun with references to feet, but I couldn't figure out what they mean.

The septon could neither read nor write, as he cheerfully confessed along the road, but he knew a hundred different prayers and could recite long passages from The Seven-Pointed Star from memory, which was all that was required in the villages. He had a seamed, windburnt face, a shock of thick grey hair, wrinkles at the corners of his eyes. Though a big man, six feet tall, he had a way of hunching forward as he walked that made him seem much shorter. His hands were large and leathery, with red knuckles and dirt beneath the nails, and he had the biggest feet that Brienne had ever seen, bare and black and hard as horn.

"I have not worn a shoe in twenty years," he told Brienne. "The first year, I had more blisters than I had toes, and my soles would bleed like pigs whenever I trod on a hard stone, but I prayed and the Cobbler Above turned my skin to leather." (AFfC, Brienne V)

I would have done better to challenge Raff the Sweetling, with a whore upon my back, Jaime thought as he shook mud off his gilded hand. Part of him wanted to tear the thing off and fling it in the river. It was good for nothing, and the left was not much better. Ser Ilyn had gone back to the horses, leaving him to find his own feet. At least I still have two of those. (AFfC, Jaime V)

Edmure Tully had collapsed facedown on the scaffold when Ser Ilyn's blade sheared the rope in two. A foot of hemp still dangled from the noose about his neck. Strongboar grabbed the end of it and pulled him to his feet. "A fish on a leash," he said, chortling. "There's a sight I never saw before." (AFfC, Jaime VI)

Dunk wonders whether it would have been worthwhile to lose a foot if it meant sparing the life of Prince Baelor; Septon Meribald has bare, black feet that are "gnarled and hard as tree roots," squishers have webbed feet. And then there are feet as units of measure: Ser Clarence Crabb and Gregor Clegane were eight feet tall. 

If the theory is correct, I suspect that references to feet tell us we are dealing with something out of a legend. "Legend" is a word that appears 100 times in the books (so far) and may also appear in hidden ways such as references to "Gendel" and Gorne. Tall characters may be legendary figures - the have more "feet" than the average man. But a Jaime POV tells us the White Book of the King's Guard is two feet tall and one-and-a-half feet wide - perhaps signaling that there are legends of heroism contained within. 

I recently pondered whether GRRM intended for readers to compare the region of Dorne to a "foot" on the "body" of Westeros. If so, wordplay on feet and legends might help us to understand the unique relationship between these lands and the rest of the seven kingdoms. Prince Doran suffers from gout, of course, and is unable to use his feet. A cure for his gout might signal the beginning of a healthier relationship between Dorne and the rest of Westeros. 

The possible rain / Reyne / Rhaenys / Rhaena wordplay is the least developed of the puns in this post.

I have been searching for clues about a very fundamental layer of the ASOIAF story: if ice and fire are important, what are the other basic elements of this world? Blood? Water? Light? Color? Stone? Wind? Dirt? Jewels? Glass? Shadow? Seeds? Roots? Rain? 

I have long been intrigued by possible hidden meanings in the trio of Aegon the Conqueror and his sister wives, Visenya and Rhaenys. Why did Rhaenys disappear? Why did Aegon like her better than Visenya? Why did her descendants survive as the Targaryen rulers? Are there clues in the other "Rhaen-" queens and ladies that could provide insights about Rhaenys?

It struck me recently that there might be hints in the sound-alike "Rhaen-" names and the rain motif built around the Reynes of Castamere. Maybe the word "reign" should also be in the mix, if we are examining Targaryen queens. 

We know that the author intended a pun on "rain" and "House Reyne," as the song The Rains of Castamere refers to the drowning of that House as punishment for their disrespectful behavior toward House Lannister. 

If there is a link between rain, House Reyne and the Targaryen queens, my guess is that it has to do with the imbalance of seasons and the cycle of plant growth and death. (See my other posts about green and brown symbolism for more thoughts about this.) Does Tywin's treatment of House Reyne amount to the banishing of rain? He diverts a river into their home - maybe the symbolism involves flooding, not drought. But that would not be a very subtle cause and effect, so I suspect there is something less obvious but still related to that fundamental layer of Westeros conflict, older and deeper buried than the conflict over the Iron Throne. 

Viserys is called Khal Rhae Marr (sore foot King) and Khal Rhaggat (cart King) by Dothraki, so the foot motif continues. 

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On 11/10/2021 at 8:57 AM, asongofheresy said:

Viserys is called Khal Rhae Marr (sore foot King) and Khal Rhaggat (cart King) by Dothraki, so the foot motif continues. 

Very nice catch! The sore foot nickname links him to Ser Duncan the Tall, of all people, who is an Oedipus ("swollen foot") figure in The Sworn Sword:

I would never think to link Viserys to Dunk, aside from suspecting that Dunk has Blackfyre-Targaryen heritage.

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5 hours ago, Seams said:

Very nice catch! The sore foot nickname links him to Ser Duncan the Tall, of all people, who is an Oedipus ("swollen foot") figure in The Sworn Sword:

I would never think to link Viserys to Dunk, aside from suspecting that Dunk has Blackfyre-Targaryen heritage.

I know the theory, though Dunk killing Daemon III while spearing another rebel, Lyonel Baratheon, is irritating when you consider its another kinslaying incident against the Blackfyres 

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34 minutes ago, asongofheresy said:

Could names of characters work as wordplay? Melisandre remembers the name "Melony" and it maybe an anagram of lemony, she also has copper hair, is it a nod to Sansa in some way? 

I don't think Mel is meant to conjure images of Sansa, but GRRM certainly has fun with names. Sarella/Alleras, Abel/Bael, Cat + Alayne = Catelyn, etc.

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19 hours ago, asongofheresy said:

Could names of characters work as wordplay? Melisandre remembers the name "Melony" and it maybe an anagram of lemony, she also has copper hair, is it a nod to Sansa in some way? 

Sansa is very short of heat and fire, but I could see a team lemon, team light, team gold - not Melisandre, but a common goal, fight the darkness, maybe.

18 hours ago, Phylum of Alexandria said:

I don't think Mel is meant to conjure images of Sansa, but GRRM certainly has fun with names. Sarella/Alleras, Abel/Bael, Cat + Alayne = Catelyn, etc.

Alleras and Bael are straight up, in your face, anagrams. So... is it letters or sounds that matter most when grrm constructs a name? If he's trying to have both, no wonder he's slow writing ... and yet, and yet he generates characters and names easily as a production line. I'm sure there's method behind the madness.

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On 11/12/2021 at 11:02 AM, Phylum of Alexandria said:

I don't think Mel is meant to conjure images of Sansa, but GRRM certainly has fun with names. Sarella/Alleras, Abel/Bael, Cat + Alayne = Catelyn, etc.

It's an old forum thought that Alysanne is sort of a reworking of Sansa + Alayne.  Whether or not that's intentional on the author's part, GRRM certainly does work with certain name themes.

For example, "Dan" names tend to be strong assertive women that push gender norms and boundaries: Danny Flint, Danelle Lothston, Daena "the Defiant" Targaryen, and of course Daenerys.

Edited by Isobel Harper
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15 hours ago, Isobel Harper said:

It's an old forum thought that Alysanne is sort of a reworking of Sansa + Alayne.  Whether or not that's intentional on the author's part, GRRM certainly does work with certain name themes.

 

Alys + Anne? My thoughts

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1 hour ago, TheLastWolf said:

Alys + Anne? My thoughts

ALaYNE + SANsa = ALYSANNE is the thought.  Again, a combo of two name "classes."

Other thoughts on the etymology of Alysanne is its resemblance to Eleanor/names in series similar to Eleanor.  the Ali- stems from Latin (ref: "alium" in "et al.") It means "other"  (Elinor of Aquitaine was named after her mother, whose name same the same, except the Eli- part.   Spelling was not as set in stone then and dialectal spellings were more common long ago, hence Eli- and Ali- being the same prefix.)

Any Eli-/Ali-/Aly- name could be considered an "other" name class.  Alysanne, Alicent, Elia, any Alys...  maybe Elaenas too? 

"Elaenas" would depend, I think. There's also a Helen name class - similar to the female "Dan" name class, women who are dis-empowered and repressed.

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15 hours ago, Isobel Harper said:

ALaYNE + SANsa = ALYSANNE is the thought.  Again, a combo of two name "classes."

Other thoughts on the etymology of Alysanne is its resemblance to Eleanor/names in series similar to Eleanor.  the Ali- stems from Latin (ref: "alium" in "et al.") It means "other"  (Elinor of Aquitaine was named after her mother, whose name same the same, except the Eli- part.   Spelling was not as set in stone then and dialectal spellings were more common long ago, hence Eli- and Ali- being the same prefix.)

Any Eli-/Ali-/Aly- name could be considered an "other" name class.  Alysanne, Alicent, Elia, any Alys...  maybe Elaenas too? 

"Elaenas" would depend, I think. There's also a Helen name class - similar to the female "Dan" name class, women who are dis-empowered and repressed.

Yes but i find it queer that considering the medieval setting, lack of Annes or similar sounding names concern me (while there are a dozen each of other made up names). Or maybe George doesn't like the name.

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I think the point is, in choosing names, GRRM is not trying to recreate medieval Europe; he is leaving a trail of meaningful breadcrumbs that allows readers to make connections among characters or other literary clues. 

The name "Petyr" is odd compared to familiar European names, for instance, but it probably connects with Pretty Pig or Pretty Meris. The logic behind the spelling is internal to the books. 

Awhile back, I noticed that there was a pattern of crone characters whose names end with "-ella." As my list grew, I realized the -ella suffix was not as widespread among crones as I first thought, but I still think the author has used if purposefully. I still haven't worked out whether "ella" is connected to things like Davos drinking ale or the character named Alebelly. Or the "Ela" and "Eli" names cited by Isobel Harper, above. If the Sarella / Alleras theories are correct, there is a non-crone and a good clue about how GRRM uses that name to provide layered hints for us about connected characters. 

It doesn't take much effort to notice that the name "Nan" is important and perhaps that can satisfy the longing for "Anne" characters. It would not surprise me if the use of the palindrome is a hint to us about a person who can move backward and forward in time (or something along those lines). Arya takes on the name when she resides for a time at Harrenhal. I have wondered whether there is a deliberate connection between the name "Old Nan" and the similar-sounding "Olenna." 

My plan is to stick with the evidence in the books to discern meanings in names. 

 

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On 11/15/2021 at 9:36 AM, Seams said:

Awhile back, I noticed that there was a pattern of crone characters whose names end with "-ella." As my list grew, I realized the -ella suffix was not as widespread among crones as I first thought, but I still think the author has used if purposefully. 

Could there be a connection to Abel or Bael?

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On 11/15/2021 at 1:27 AM, TheLastWolf said:

Yes but i find it queer that considering the medieval setting, lack of Annes or similar sounding names concern me (while there are a dozen each of other made up names). Or maybe George doesn't like the name.

There are a couple of Anya's in the book, as well as some Joannas and a Hanna in the books, with Ann is short for.

 

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3 hours ago, Isobel Harper said:

Could there be a connection to Abel or Bael?

I don't see a clear link between the "-ella" women and Abel or Bael, but I do think there might be a connection between Alebelly and Abel or Bael. Alebelly is Bran's guard after Ned and Jon and Robb are gone. In the Bael the Bard tale, the singer impregnates the daughter, who goes into the crypt and waits until a baby (the new Stark heir) is born. Bran's emergence from the crypt after Theon and Ramsay kill the Miller's boys is a little bit like the appearance of the Stark / Bael heir in the tale.

  • Bael is the King Beyond the Wall.
  • Alebelly is on guard duty on the Winterfell gate (wall) and is the first to die when the Ironborn invade by flowing over the wall. 
  • Essentially, Theon kills Alebelly.
  • Theon declares himself Prince of Winterfell, which might be similar to a title the Stark heir would hold. 
  • Abel and the washerwomen make it possible for Theon to escape Winterfell (by jumping off the wall). 
  • Maybe Abel and the washerwomen sacrifice themselves, similar to Bael the Bard in the tale allowing his son to kill him in combat. 

Maybe I need to put in more thought about the "-ella" women, though. You might be right. Donella Hornwood was a Manderly. Ravella Smallwood was a Swann and is married into an acorn family. Sarella Sand is a Sand Snake who is probably working behind the scenes to avenge Elia and/or help Arianne become queen. I get the feeling these characters (or others from their Houses) are all symbolically or literally working to undermine usurpers. Does Myrcella Baratheon fit that group as well? Are the "-ella" women variations on the theme of the washerwomen?

 

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54 minutes ago, Seams said:

Does Myrcella Baratheon fit that group as well? Are the "-ella" women variations on the theme of the washerwomen?

It has always been a pet theory of mine that if the rift (understatement I know) between the Starks and Lannisters is ever mended, it would be with a marriage (medieval noobs), + historically I don't remember any Stark-Lannister marriage. Plus these hidden dragonseed possibiliries. 

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