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Word play Li’ pup

I think I have a good thought. When two reflective things face one another (picture two large mirrors) the idea of infinity comes to mind. Like a mirror, an eye is also reflective. I believe we are seeing a mirror and an eye come together with some nice little word-play at the of Waymar’s duel.

 
Eyes in AGOT, Prologue are described like gems. And gems often symbolize stars.

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AGOT, Prologue

Gared’s hood shadowed his face, but Will could see the hard glitter in his eyes as he stared at the knight.

 

In the Prologue of AGOT, Ser Waymar Royce’s Long Sword that shattered had jewels (plural) that glittered in its hilt. Later, in ADWD Jon XII, a member of the free folk seems to have found a broken sword hilt. Long ago, someone noticed this and understandably assumed it once belonged to Ser Waymar Royce. The broken sword hilt had three sapphires.

A long swords, so-called for its long hilt, is traditionally fashioned in the shape of a crucifix. (symbolic of death and rebirth) This allows the user to use one or both hands on the sword in battle. The arrangement of three sapphires on the hilt, most likely, is evenly spaced on the cross guard. Google “Narsil” the broken sword from LOTR and look at the images. A sword like that “trembling on high” against a clear night winter sky is a clever way for Martin to draw our attention to Orion’s Belt in my opinion. I mean Martin is literally shaking the sword against the sky. (In our narrative it’s called “The Sword of the Morning constellation”) Those stars are best viewed in the early night sky during the Northern Winter. This black sword (A constellation) would be located just above the ice wall (an ice sword) another symbolic sword. “As above, so below”, says the old maxim. The three, easily identifiable, evenly-spaced stars of Orion’s Belt (The sword of the Morning) match up precisely with the number of blue eyes in the chapter. Martin even states this about the Other’s eyes, “They fixed on the longsword trembling on high,…”, key word “fixed”, as in mounted. The three sapphires are literally paralleling Orion’s Belt. This is precisely what caught the Other eyes. They “fixed” on the hilt that matched near perfectly with the star directly behind it. The same blue eyes with a description that sounds like stars, “…its eyes; blue, deeper and bluer than any human eyes, a blue that burned like ice.” and “The pupil burned blue.”

Note: en tremblant is also a gem setting
Note: Also, Diamonds are a gem nicknamed “ice”.

A little known fact, Orion’s sword was once identified as the Mirror of Venus or Venus’ mirror.
 

Thus, waymar‘s sword paralleling Orion’s sword (The Sword of the Morning) could be seen as shattering like a mirror symbolically. In the main narrative Waymar’s Sword I believe is made of martensite, a form of carbon steel especially hard and brittle produced by undercooling during the forging process. (Side note: It’s interesting that Waymar’s cloak, made of little furry Martens, comes together and his sword, made of martensite, shatters.) The cloak symbolizes many deaths with,
 

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AGOT, Prologue

“twisted their little heads off, our mighty warrior.”

 

and the sword symbolizes birth. The birth being the word-play I wanted to share. “Pupil”(eye) where the reflective shard or the shining steel ends up is also reflective at the moment just before impact. Like when two reflective things face one another (picture two large mirrors) the idea of infinity again comes to mind.

Using your minds eye hold the book to a mirror. Read the leaf until you see the word “pupil”. In your minds eye you’ll see “liquq”. Truth, one would have to mind their ”p’s” and “q’s”, an old idiom, to get it right. Typesetters often confused the two similar-looking letters. In this case, if the typesetters get it wrong we end up with lipup or li’pup. Short for little puppy. Look at this quote again,

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AGOT, Prologue

“His fine clothes were a tatter, his face a ruin. A shard from his sword transfixed the blind white pupil of his left eye.”

 

Now we have an injured eye(symbolic gem) that is trans”fixed” with the sword shard. Not eyes fixed on a trembling sword. “Trans” is a prefix meaning across, beyond or through. “Trans” can also suggest gender neutrality.

Li’ pup -

“…blind white…” Ghost!? I think so. “Left” also symbolically lines up with our little bastard according to Gared’s little finger. The two ears and three toes line up with the Other pups. “Three male, two female.” “His fine clothes were a tatter, his face a ruin.”, Also presents a lot of symbolism but I don’t think I need to cover that here.

In summary, we have a shining steel reflective shard entering into Waymar’s eye(also reflective) creating this sense of infinity. We get a blind white Ghost …

Sorry for the long explanation. The word-play on pupil would be otherwise easy to disregard.

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On 1/12/2022 at 9:11 PM, Seams said:

What is GRRM doing with the bucket and pale references here? Note that sharpened sticks or logs around a fort are called a palisade and a single sharpened stake for a fortification is called a pale. Pale can also mean fence. So we are getting a bucket and two pales in three consecutive sentences. 

When Jon Snow slips between the stakes to go outside of the fort, he is going "beyond the pale." 

In a previous Jon POV (AGoT, Jon VIII), Jon carried a bucket full of bloody meat.

This idea also matches up with the pale shapes they surround Waymar while using their “pale blades” they slice through Waymar’s ringmail “as if it were silk.” Even their voices that Will heard were like “laughter sharp as icicles.” “It was cold butchery.” Harp and sickles seem to be some words at play here. 
 

I believe when you see Jon go beyond the pale it’s an action that parallels the birth of Ghost in the Prologue. Like Jon, Ghost is a bastard. Ghost was carried in the mouth of the mother direwolf I think while the other pups are of the womb.

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On 2/3/2022 at 7:38 AM, Seams said:

 

And there's that reference to a watch ("watching"), too. I think there is some kind of wordplay around time and the Night's "Watch," possibly including the Hightower acting as a sundial and other references to the passage of time in Westeros (the Hour of the Wolf, etc.). 

Here’s some imagery that might match up with that idea. Picture Waymar’s body “face down” with “one arm out-flung” in the snow. (Black on white) in the middle of 12 “watchers”. The text even references Waymar’s face by saying “face down”. Think clock-face or watch-face.

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AGOT, Prologue

They emerged silently from the shadows, twins to the first. Three of them … four … five …

The math here is 3 + 4 + 5 = 12. I think, like he seems to love doing, that Martin is being ambiguous to allow for multiple meanings. In the text, we read “The thick sable cloak had been slashed in a dozen places.” One stabby whabby apiece.  His face even had runes on it. 
 

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AGOT, Prologue
 

His fine clothes were a tatter, his face a ruin.

Earlier, Will responds to Waymar’s question about how many watches he has drawn? To which Will says, “There never was a week when he did not draw a dozen bloody watches.” ( It’s odd because Will has been “ranging” the past week). This seems to foreshadow Waymar’s situation. In Waymar’s bloody situation there are a dozen watchers that draw and in Will’s response to Waymar he drew a dozen bloody watches.

Lastly, during the duel Waymar “came up snarling”. Certainly, this probably makes reference symbolically or figuratively to the mother direwolf. However, again Martin likes ambiguity. Iron snarling is a metallurgy technique of embedding, here clock symbols, into metal. Metallurgy is a theme early on in the Game of Thrones.

Perhaps we should ask Waymar what time it is.

I’m not sure about Hightower. It’s probably a thing. Waymar did tower above Will and Gared.

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Posted (edited)

The idea of swords as hands of a clock (and Ser Waymar as a stopped clock) is a huge new twist. Very nice catch!

AFfC prologue:

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And beyond, where the Honeywine widened into Whispering Sound, rose the Hightower, its beacon fires bright against the dawn. From where it stood atop the bluffs of Battle Island, its shadow cut the city like a sword. Those born and raised in Oldtown could tell the time of day by where that shadow fell. Some claimed a man could see all the way to the Wall from the top. Perhaps that was why Lord Leyton had not made the descent in more than a decade, preferring to rule his city from the clouds.

So the Hightower is a sundial but it is the shadow of the tower that tells the time. And that image of a massive sundial is immediately followed by a reference to the Wall, where the "watchers" are on duty. 

I had a thought about the "ate the widow woman's pie," mentioned at the opening of The Hedge Knight, in Dunk's eulogy for Ser Arlan of Pennytree. If it's an anagram, I think it refers to a shadow weapon stolen by Bloodraven ("the inn boy"). But the shadow weapon also includes an element of time ("wite time shadow weapon") that combines time, justice ("wite" is a Scottish word relating to the King's Justice) and shadows into a weapon. GRRM may be telling us what kinds of weapons are most dangerous. So the sword as an instrument of justice (the King's Justice and the Hand of the King are united in Ned Stark and in Ser Ilyn Payne, when he beheads the Hand of the King using a sword called "Ice" that may be a nickname for "Justice"). If that sword is the symbolic hand on the face of a clock, the dispensing of justice (and/or other sword violence) is a reflection of time passing. 

This could also help to explain Quaithe's "to touch the light you must pass beneath the shadow." Sundials cast shadows. But one hand of a clock also passes beneath the other as they rotate around the dial. Maybe the hour hand passing beneath the minute hand is a variation on the theme of passing beneath the shadow. 

All of the imagery and symbolism of the Hand of the King, Handmaiden, puppeteer, Hand's Tourney, Finger dancing, etc. takes on a new layer of richness if we start examining them as the hands of the clock.

Edited by Seams
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  • 1 month later...

I pulled out this line and posted it as a joke in another thread, but it caught my eye as possible wordplay when I looked at it closely:

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"If that is your wish, you may soon have it granted. His High Holiness is resolved that you be tried for regicide, deicide, incest, and high treason."

"Deicide?" She almost laughed. "When did I kill a god?"

Is "deicide" an anagram of "ice died"? Is Cersei accused of killing the sword Ice? 

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On 4/24/2022 at 2:04 AM, Seams said:

Is "deicide" an anagram of "ice died"? Is Cersei accused of killing the sword Ice? 

Coming to think of it, Ice was 'dyed' - red colouring added and Ice 'died' when split and reborn as two swords, each with a new name and identity. Hmm. 

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The relationship between "walker" and "wanderer" is interesting and extends to "wander," "wonder" and Wanda  the White Fawn. Also "wand" and its anagram "dawn" or "Dawn." These are all linked and can possibly be extended to "Walder" and "Walda."

In the German translation, the White Walkers are called "Weiße Wanderer" which conveys the meaning better than the equivalent for "walker." That got me thinking because "wandering" involves "walking." In English wandering implies walking about in a more or less aimless way, while in German you normally "wander" with a purpose or a goal in mind, expressed also by the term "Wanderlust," a desire to undertake a hike or a long walk for instance. With this in mind, I've been contemplating whether an investigation of "wanderer" and related terms might shed some more light on the Others. 

In the narrative Catelyn describes the Stranger of the Seven as a "wanderer from far places."

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And the seventh face … the Stranger was neither male nor female, yet both, ever the outcast, the wanderer from far places, less and more than human, unknown and unknowable. Here the face was a black oval, a shadow with stars for eyes. It made Catelyn uneasy. She would get scant comfort there.

The underlined can also be said of the Others and has probably come to the notice of many readers as well. It gets intriguing when we think of Viserys and Dany who wandered the Free Cities before ending up with Illyrio (the term is used in the text). Viserys is punished to walk behind the Khalasaar, becoming a "walker," seen as shameful for a grown man without any disabilities. 
Dawn and its anagram wand suit each other too for Dawn is a magic sword and can be likened to a magic wand. Additionally, "Wand" is the German word for "wall." Wanderer (as in white walker), wand / Dawn/Wall share similar properties, we know. Then there is Wanda, the white Fawn, perhaps related to the magical white hart of which we have seen only one, brought down by wolves before King Robert could have a go at it. I've always thought of the white hart as a representation of the Others. 

Now to "wonder." Lomas Longstrider, famous for travelling the known world, can be regarded as a "wanderer." He's famous for writing two books about his travels, Wonders and Wonders made by Man and also quoted as saying "The gods made seven wonders and mortal man made nine."  He wandered the world and wrote about wonders. Connecting all this together  has me wondering ;) if the route Longstrider travelled is the route the original White Walkers (in whatever form they had then) took, eventually ending up in Westeros, possibly in Dorne after having followed the fallen star from which Dawn was forged. Of course there is a "wandering" link to the fallen star as well, in the form of the comet, the bleeding star also referred to as "the wanderer" on one occasion I found. 

The black brothers had dubbed the wanderer Mormont’s Torch, ...

There are also the seven "wanderers" sacred to the Faith, of which the "red wanderer" is named the Smith by the Faith and the Thief by the Freefolk. 

 Walder and Walda are more difficult to integrate though there is the odd hint here and there. 

Perhaps one last thought to this wandering / travelling theme regarding Ser Waymar. Like @Nadden above I've been thinking of Waymar in terms of way mar, ruining the path or going the wrong way perhaps. I like the idea of the "watches" above but have a different take on Waymar's position in death, related to his going the wrong way - his position could be meant to depict a compass. He circles with his sword in hand, more likely stretched out in front of him also reminiscent of a compass needle moving in accordance with his turning:

He was turning in a slow circle, suddenly wary, his sword in hand.

The chapter begins with the words "We should start back" and there are many references to direction, also to Will's skill as a tracker which involves following clues to a particular object or destination. Perhaps the Others are like E.T. All they want is to go home :D.

Waymar is probably an anagram of Ramsay as well, not a full one but almost, w replacing the s in Ramsay. I wasn't sure of this until I discovered that Ramsay also owned a sable cloak early in the story. There's more wordplay surrounding Waymar though - but enough for now. 

 

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14 hours ago, Evolett said:

Waymar is probably an anagram of Ramsay as well, not a full one but almost, w replacing the s in Ramsay. I wasn't sure of this until I discovered that Ramsay also owned a sable cloak early in the story.

Love this. Very nice catch.

I began to explore the wall / walk / walking / Wall King wordplay at some point, but you have added a rich layer to the discussion. 

One of the questions I was pondering was whether Jon Snow, someone who does some "walking" around the Castle Black area, is intended to be a Wall King. (This seemed to match up with Gendry "thinking / Thin King," possibly Brienne "seeking / See King,"  Joffrey "choking" or "coughing / Faux King," maybe even Margaery "off hawking / f*cking" and various other "kings" in the books.) 

A possible "almost" anagram of "claw" (as in the sword Longclaw and Crack Claw Point) and "walk" also made me think that GRRM wanted us to associate Jon Snow (and maybe Brienne) with walking. 

The dawn / wand / Wand (German word for "wall") wordplay was also part of my wordplay thinking, but I had not connected it to the Wanderer. Very nice. 

Your wonder / wander connection is also excellent and opens up a new line for exploration: the word "down" is important as we often see characters descend from mountains, go into holes or sewers, or come down staircases. If this is related to the wander motif (and your Lomas Longstrider connection is very persuasive) then we can examine these "down" situations in light of the larger set of symbols.

The connection of wandering to the faith (and to the wildling legends, implying a link to the old gods) is also important. More work is needed to understand the symbolism of "one step and then another," a phrase that appears in Jon Snow, Sam Tarly and Sansa / Alayne POVS, to the symbolism of the sept. (Maybe also connected to pets - Joffrey kills one of Tommen's pets but Margaery gives Tommen several pet kittens. The Stark direwolves might be the "old god" version of pets.)

Further support for the connection between walking / wandering and The Stranger comes from the ranger / stranger wordplay. Night's Watch rangers range beyond the Wall. If you believe there is deliberate wordplay in "First Ranger" and "fur stranger," you can also connect Ser Waymar's sable cloak (as well as Benjen Stark) to The Stranger. 

With your connection of Wall = Wand = Wanderers = Walkers to the White Walkers, this might also set up a comparison of Jon Snow as a Black Walker contrasting with the White Walkers. I increasingly believe that GRRM has set up a comparison of "sacrificed sons," with the White Walkers taking  Craster's sons while the Night's Watch similarly takes sons from noble houses of Westeros. If my suspicions are correct, the two traditional enemies are just two sides of the same coin, leading young people to zombie-like lives and premature or eventual death.

I had forgotten about a comment I posted last year, exploring the idea that a flaming sword (Lightbringer symbol) has to be taken "into" one's hand. Melisandre tells Stannis to take a flaming sword "into" his hand but Stannis wears a glove when he handles the sword, proving that he is not Azor Ahai. By contrast, Jon Snow grabs flaming drapes and burns his own hand to fight the wighted Othor, leading Jeor Mormont to present the sword Long Claw to Jon Snow. It's convoluted but I suspect that drapes are symbolic walls because Winterfell is described as having a "curtain wall". I raise this point here because I think it is a clue to identifying the Azor Ahai figures and the people who wield the sword "Dawn" ("wand / Wand") that they have to take fire "into" their hands. Victarion would be one character who seems to fit this path to becoming a hero and I outlined some other possibilities in the linked comment (although many of them have special hand injuries; not necessarily caused by fire). 

This wordplay stuff is so rich. I'm so glad there are several of us willing to go down the rabbit holes to explore it. Thanks for a great set of observations!

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P.S. I love your "Wanda" catch but I think the Walder wordplay is a separate motif: "Wald" is the German word for "woods." I suspect that the Frey family is a symbolic forest that will be cut down by Catelyn and others, one tree at a time. It may be important that the followers of the new gods (Catelyn and Lord Manderly) are the ones to cut down the trees.

We see lots of important dead trees in the books - Melisandre forcing the free folk to throw branches of a weirwood onto a fire; Tyrion on the Rhoyne river having to navigate around fallen trees; Tyrion stepping over a burning log to emerge from the fireplace in Tywin's bedchamber; the Ironborn maester telling Lady Rohanne's small folk to cut down trees to make a dam, etc.) 

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6 hours ago, Seams said:

P.S. I love your "Wanda" catch but I think the Walder wordplay is a separate motif: "Wald" is the German word for "woods." I suspect that the Frey family is a symbolic forest that will be cut down by Catelyn and others, one tree at a time. It may be important that the followers of the new gods (Catelyn and Lord Manderly) are the ones to cut down the trees.

Just realized this - It's not 'Wanda' but 'Wenda' but could fit in all the same with Fawn/Dawn. "Wald" is nice :) as well as the Freys as a symbolic forest. What prompted me to consider Walder / Walda is Walder Frey's connection to the walking theme - or worse - he's carried about in a litter (yet fathers children in advanced old age). That links up to Viserys' Cart King image as well as to Lord Manderly, too fat to sit a horse. Having come from the Reach, the Manderlys differ from the northerners, different faith, all that sea and merfolk artwort etc. Perhaps they originated from the region around the Mander River - "wander" and "mander" is another pair I think. They guard the White Knife river, the town is Cold Harbour.  And its a safe haven for them. Well, I do have this private theory that the Starks may have provided a faction of the Others a safe haven. 

Then there's another observation, not word play but worth noting - this is Walder talking about Tywin:

Only two sons, and one of them’s a twisted little monster. I’ll match him son for son, and I’ll still have nineteen and a half left when all of his are dead!”

Craster has 19 wives who each must have had at least one baby that was given to the Others. Half a son = Monster at the Wall? Then there are 19 castles at the wall and 19 dragonskulls in the dungeons of the Red Keep, 19 obsidian arrows left of the cache Ghost found. Not quite sure what to make of that!

Jon walking - I recall he defied pain and insisted on getting up and about after maester Aemon treated him for his wounded leg. Have to think about that and the rest of your longer post.

One last thought - "player" and "slayer." Sam thinks of himself as craven but then becomes a "slayer" when he kills the Other and a "player" when he connives to make Jon LC. Sam the kingmaker. 

Edited by Evolett
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On 4/27/2022 at 5:57 PM, Seams said:

With your connection of Wall = Wand = Wanderers = Walkers to the White Walkers, this might also set up a comparison of Jon Snow as a Black Walker contrasting with the White Walkers. I increasingly believe that GRRM has set up a comparison of "sacrificed sons," with the White Walkers taking  Craster's sons while the Night's Watch similarly takes sons from noble houses of Westeros. If my suspicions are correct, the two traditional enemies are just two sides of the same coin, leading young people to zombie-like lives and premature or eventual death.

You’re right about the “sacrificed sons” in connection with walk and wall. Jon and his black brothers “walk the Wall” regularly and its also an expression used to denote someone sentenced to join the NW.

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Every man who wore the black walked the Wall, and every man was expected to take up steel in its defense, but the rangers were the true fighting heart of the Night’s Watch. It was they who dared ride beyond the Wall…

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Littlefinger flashed his mocking smile. “Drink with the dwarf, it’s said, and you wake up walking the Wall. Black brings out my unhealthy pallor.”

Then there are several other “wall-walkers” including Lord Tywin, Tyrion and Theon. Theon especially constantly walks the walls of Winterfell, even desiring to do so despite the bitter cold. And here is Jon thinking of what Ned said to him as the walked the walls of Winterfell:

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“No wall can keep you safe,” his father had told him once, as they walked the walls of Winterfell. “A wall is only as strong as the men who defend it.”

I would see Tyrion and Theon as “sacrificed children.” Even Jon before he joined the NW. And Ned can be seen as sacrificing himself and his honor to save Sansa. Perhaps Tywin can also be seen as a sacrifice – he devoted his life to the advancement of his family which is a form of sacrifice and “sacrificed” a great many people in the process to achieve this as well.

Interesting is that the "walkers" become “riders” once they are rangers on their way to meet dangers including “Strangers.”

 

Edited by Evolett
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Some wordplay

Born / borne/ bear/ bare

Borne is, just like born, the past participle of the verb bear, which can mean (among other things) "to contain" or "to give birth to." At first, borne and born were variant spellings of the same adjective. Used as in water-borne (or water-born), it means "carried by."

In the Prologue of AGOT Martin develops the idea about the birth of the direwolf pups using some figurative language.  
 

Will’s dirk is symbolic of a pup as it falls out of his mouth( a symbolic birth) from the sentinel tree, an old God.
 

Here Will puts his dirk in his mouth, “He whispered a prayer to the nameless gods of the wood, and slipped his dirk free of its sheath. He put it between his teeth to keep both hands free for climbing. The taste of cold iron in his mouth gave him comfort.” Life begins with a fall.

Here it falls out, “Will opened his mouth to call down a warning, and the words seemed to freeze in his throat.”

Then the next time we read about the Others we get this:

”The lower branches of the great green sentinel shed their burden of snow with a soft wet plop.” (A Samwell 1 chapter in ASOS) This quote shows, figuratively, the birth of a pup.

Now compare those “lower branches” to these lower branches from AGOT, Prologue.

”The great sentinel was right there at the top of the ridge, where Will had known it would be, its lowest branches a bare foot off the ground.” 
 

So bear/ bare/ borne/ born…

I believe a foot and lower branches are lower limbs and roots (family roots)

 

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On 4/30/2022 at 7:26 AM, Nadden said:

”The lower branches of the great green sentinel shed their burden of snow with a soft wet plop.” (A Samwell 1 chapter in ASOS) This quote shows, figuratively, the birth of a pup.

I was just pondering your intepretation of the sentinel tree shedding it's burden of snow when I realized that the sentinel is part of the theme of "watching" and "watchers" discussed above. A sentinel is a guard or as more elaborately defined by 
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition, 
"a soldier stationed as a guard, either to challenge persons drawing near and to allow to pass only those who give a watchword, and, in the absence of this, to resist them and give an alarm, or for display or ceremony only."

After reading that part of the prologue again, it seems Will as well as the sentinel tree he climbs can be viewed as "watchers" parallel to the Others that soon appear. Like the approaching Others, Will makes no sound as he's climbing the ridge to the sentinel tree. He is as silent as the Others as he watches from the tree. He hears the sounds of the forest but apart from the whispered prayer he only watches and listens

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Down below, the lordling called out suddenly, “Who goes there?” Will heard uncertainty in the challenge. He stopped climbing; he listened; he watched. 

Both the sentinel and Will are clues to the Others as "watchers" and "listeners". (The idea that the Others are listening to the "song" of the sword, as I've suggested in the Maimed Singers thread.) The sentinel relates to the "listening" by way of an anagram - "listen" is contained in "sentinel." The dictionary definition of "sentinel" also supports the idea of the Others listening for a song (perhaps a password of sorts) and killing those who don't "sing the right song."

The sentinel shedding its "burden of snow" is also related to the "bear," "borne" wordplay you point out above, a burden being something we carry. 

 

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Posted (edited)

@Seams Ruby / Bury, rubies being nipples - I never noticed that but after reading your comment in the Hope for the Freys thread, I do believe you're right. Several things came to mind at once which you've probably noticed already but I'll mention them just in case.

- The warrior women of of Bayasabhad, Samyriana, and Kayakayanaya in Essos walk about bare-breasted and decorate their cheeks and nipples with ruby studs and iron rings. They also believe that only those who give birth are permitted to take life at will (tWoIaF).

- Ruby/Bury - Rhaegar's rubies wash up on the Quiet Isle where dead victims of the war also wash up and are buried and put to rest by Sandor the Gravedigger. In view of your observation about burying firewights being the way to "keep them quiet, i.e. dead," it's significant that Sandor himself has been "kissed by fire" and also that he demonstrated that killing Beric with a sword wasn't a deterrent to Beric rising again.

- The Elder Brother relates Rhaegar's washed up rubies to the Seven and they are waiting for the 7th. Since rubies = nipples are a feminine symbol (I suspect this is what "as useless as nipples on a breastplate" is all about), we're probably looking for 7 women here. Six have washed up and have been possibly put to rest. (Actually, on a side note I think the piece of rusted dragon (from the clanking dragon) is the 7th "ruby," representing maybe Dany). The 7 rubies may be related to the seven swan maidens who lured men to their deaths and were sacrficed by the Andal hero Hukkor, whose name may be a rendering of Hugor of the Hill. Another representation of them would be the 7 "sweetlings" sacrificed by Victarion to the Red God. 

- I suspect those "kissed by fire" including the red-haired as well as those who have suffered burns can be raised as fire-wights if they haven't received proper burials. I can't prove it yet but I suspect raising by fire cannot be done on the mass scale we see with the ice-wights, this is reserved for the select group above (unless a large group of people are scathed with dragonfire). 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Evolett said:
On 4/30/2022 at 1:26 AM, Nadden said:

”The lower branches of the great green sentinel shed their burden of snow with a soft wet plop.” (A Samwell 1 chapter in ASOS) 

I was just pondering your intepretation of the sentinel tree shedding it's burden of snow when I realized that the sentinel is part of the theme of "watching" and "watchers" discussed above.

Your highlighting this excerpt caused me to realize that it might echo the falling of the ripe blood oranges in the first scene where we meet Prince Doran. 

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The blood oranges are well past ripe," the prince observed in a weary voice, when the captain rolled him onto the terrace.

After that he did not speak again for hours.

It was true about the oranges. A few had fallen to burst open on the pale pink marble. The sharp sweet smell of them filled Hotah's nostrils each time he took a breath. No doubt the prince could smell them too, as he sat beneath the trees in the rolling chair Maester Caleotte had made for him, with its goose-down cushions and rumbling wheels of ebony and iron.

For a long while the only sounds were the children splashing in the pools and fountains, and once a soft plop as another orange dropped onto the terrace to burst. (AFfC, The Captain of the Guards)

Since Areo Hotah is a guard and a watcher, this would fit with the sentinel pine symbolism, too.

In the Dunk & Egg thread, I came to believe that orange and oranges are associated with Targaryens. Since we have oranges plopping from trees here and snow plopping from trees in the ASoS chapter cited by Nadden, maybe we are seeing the birth of Jon Snow and the birth of Dany in these images. Or a (dire)pup and a dragon. Overseen by sentinels and watchers appropriate to each setting.

58 minutes ago, Evolett said:

it's significant that Sandor himself has been "kissed by fire" and also that he demonstrated that killing Beric with a sword wasn't a deterrent to Beric rising again.

But this raises an interesting question. The Elder Brother insists that The Hound is dead and buried. Yet we believe Sandor lives on as the gravedigger. And his Hound helmet lives on with the Brotherhood Without Banners. So this might contradict the value of burial as a way to ensure that potential fire wights stay dead. Unless Sandor's childhood experience of being "kissed by fire" (bitten by fire?) give him immunity. Kinda like Achilles.

58 minutes ago, Evolett said:

Since rubies = nipples are a feminine symbol (I suspect this is what "as useless as nipples on a breastplate" is all about), we're probably looking for 7 women here.

I'm not so sure. Because the Unsullied warrior, Khal Drogo and the Blue Bard all experience significant nipple maiming, I think that male nipples might also be part of the hint GRRM is giving us. I may have worked out some of this in observations about the sons of Ser Eustace Osgrey being buried in the berry patch. It may be that nipples, rubies, and bury / berry are all part of a single line of wordplay symbolism. Bran is given a berry just before he climbs the old keep and discovers Jaime and Cersei. Maybe this was a symbolic burial? Or an inoculation, as breastfeeding seems to be for some babies? There are parallels among Bran and Sweetrobin and Bloodraven. We know that Sweetrobin is breastfed by Lysa and that he tries to nuzzle other women's breasts. This could be the extreme version of Bran eating a berry from Winterfell's glass house. 

There is also a worplay possibility around penis and nipples. Maybe the maiming of Khal Drogo, the Blue Bard and the Unsullied warrior are like the maiming of Varys and Theon. Of course, Unsullied warriors are also cut "stem and root," which implies castration. 

Thank you for bringing over that ruby / bury / berry discussion of nipples here. I was getting off on a tangent but that idea seemed important to write out when it was fresh in my mind. 

Edited by Seams
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On 5/4/2022 at 12:29 AM, Seams said:

But this raises an interesting question. The Elder Brother insists that The Hound is dead and buried. Yet we believe Sandor lives on as the gravedigger. And his Hound helmet lives on with the Brotherhood Without Banners. So this might contradict the value of burial as a way to ensure that potential fire wights stay dead. Unless Sandor's childhood experience of being "kissed by fire" (bitten by fire?) give him immunity. Kinda like Achilles.

Sandor is showing two sides of the coin. Think of it in terms of his face, one half of which is kissed by fire, the other half normal. The one half signifies a normal person, not kissed by fire, who in a raising attempt will not rise when fire magic is applied. That ties  into him being dead and buried and to Rhaegar's rubies coming to rest on the Quiet Isle. The other half of his face, kissed by fire, symbolizes that he is one of the few that can indeed be raised by fire if "kissed by fire" with the Lord's Kiss. The helmet that lives on probably symbolizes consciousness / spirit living on. 

Sandor's horse, named Stranger by him, death, and renamed / reborn as Driftwood tells a similar story, I think. If we think of the wood in terms of a weirwood for instance, driftwood would translate to drifting consciousness. The Elder Brother says Driftwood was whelped in hell, the link to fire. And driftwood floats in the water - similar to Catelyn, also kissed by fire, drifting in the water before being raised by fire. Sounds convoluted but I think that's the essence of it. 

 

Black cloaks facilitating fire resurrecting

I was looking for more clues to the ruby/bury theme when I noticed black cloaks also involved in resurrections:

Quote

Dolorous Edd opined that glass knives were about as useful as nipples on a knight’s breastplate, but Jon was not so certain. The dragonglass blade was sharper than steel, albeit far more brittle. It must have been buried for a reason.

A veiled hint to fire being buried – frozen fire was buried “for a reason”. But it was wrapped up in a black cloak so perhaps this prevented the fire’s proper burial. The fire does not “stay dead and buried” but is found and comes to light again.

 

Similar imagery with Beric:

Quote

A scarecrow of a man, he wore a ragged black cloak speckled with stars and an iron breastplate dinted by a hundred battles. A thicket of red-gold hair hid most of his face, save for a bald spot above his left ear where his head had been smashed in.

And Bloodraven, a fire-person by his Targaryen heritage who also once wore a black cloak, his body dead and yet living in the weirwood. That he has that birthmark or "bloodmark" - a mark of inheritance, ties into the idea that persons with a certain inheritance (red hair and perhaps even all those considered lucky, which includes dwarfs and lemurs that look like "little Valyrians") can be raised by fire. 

 

As useless as nipples on a breastplate

I think breastplates can be assigned to the Others as swords are to dragons. Master armorers such as Tobho Mott who specialises in armor  (and wears a sapphire large as a pigeon's egg) is then on team Other while smiths who forge swords are on team Azor. Some blacksmiths are on both teams. 

 

If breastplates are Others, and nipples /rubies are useless on breastplates then burials are useless on Others.  But in relation to .. 

Quote

Dolorous Edd opined that glass knives were about as useful as nipples on a knight’s breastplate, but Jon was not so certain. The dragonglass blade was sharper than steel, albeit far more brittle. It must have been buried for a reason.

glass knives in the form of obsidian are useful on a "breastplate." And perhaps Jon Snow who is "frozen fire" / ice and fire, has to die, be buried in his black cloak to be transformed to become "useful" against the Others. 

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In a previous post I mentioned Will’s dirk paralleling a direwolf pup with theses two passages.

Quote

Prologue, AGOT

Fear filled his gut like a meal he could not digest. He whispered a prayer to the nameless gods of the wood, and slipped his dirk free of its sheath. He put it between his teeth to keep both hands free for climbing. The taste of cold iron in his mouth gave him comfort.

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Prologue, AGOT

“Will opened his mouth to call down a warning, and the words seemed to freeze in his throat.”

Here Will has climbed into a Sentinel tree and unsheathed his dirk to place into his mouth. He opens his mouth to call down a warning and the dirk must have fallen. The continuation of this hidden narrative comes in ASOS the first Samwell chapter 18.

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Samwell 1, chapt 18 ASOS

“The lower branches of the great green sentinel shed their burden of snow with a soft wet plop.”

I mentioned before that we were seeing the birth of a direwolf pup. Now I believe we are seeing the delivery of “Ghost” the direwolf pup. And I don’t mean delivery in a traditional sense. In the last quote it was “snow” that fell. “Snow” as in bastard also.(There’s the wordplay:)) Ghost, like Jon, is a bastard. To my mind, the dirk in Will mouth is symbolic of Ghost in the mouth of the mother direwolf. Ghost was born before his litter mates, that’s why his eyes are already open. The other litter mates are symbolized by the “Fear that filled Will’s gut like a meal he could not digest.”

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I feel like this is an under developed thought but here it is…

 

Here’s my newest discovery

nissassassin(A palindrome)

If you divided it perfectly in half you would have nissas  sassin (notice they are mirror reflections of each other). You might say it’s a  “Nissa” with an “s”. A “Nissa” with an “s” is

“Nissas”is plural for “Nissa” or “Nissa Nissa”

“nissassassin” Take away the “sin” off either side backwards and forwards and you get assassin backwards and forwards.

There’s certainly more here somewhere

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45 minutes ago, Nadden said:

I feel like this is an under developed thought but here it is…

 

Here’s my newest discovery

nissassassin(A palindrome)

If you divided it perfectly in half you would have nissas  sassin (notice they are mirror reflections of each other). You might say it’s a  “Nissa” with an “s”. A “Nissa” with an “s” is

“Nissas”is plural for “Nissa” or “Nissa Nissa”

“nissassassin” Take away the “sin” off either side backwards and forwards and you get assassin backwards and forwards.

There’s certainly more here somewhere

You've shared your assassin / Nissa Nissa observation in this thread in February and now May and in another thread in March. Can you dig deeper? What meaning do you think GRRM intends for this wordplay? Do you think that the names Stannis and Sansa are also part of the motif? What about Satin?

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44 minutes ago, Seams said:

You've shared your assassin / Nissa Nissa observation in this thread in February and now May and in another thread in March. Can you dig deeper? What meaning do you think GRRM intends for this wordplay? Do you think that the names Stannis and Sansa are also part of the motif? What about Satin?

The new thought was the arrangement of the letters as a palindrome. Martin mirrors things in so many different ways.  
 

But yes, Satin, sin, assassin, Stannis, Sansa —-I can’t wrap my head around a single motif that makes sense.

Nissa Nissa looks like an echo

Sorry just loose thoughts

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