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Black Crow

Heresy 184

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On 20.4.2016 at 7:41 PM, Black Crow said:

Since he's still pretending to be alive and Bran hasn't yet taken up his mantle, its most easily read as the last remaining one; hence his hanging on so long waiting for his successor to turn up and release him from the curse so that he can finally die.

As I said before, where I'm still inclined to question the designation is as to whether he really really is the last one and only greenseer [honest], or whether he's the last human greenseer.

And in the end it could turn out that he is the last greenseer because his successor will shatter the old order. Destroy the trees and let the dead stay dead. What a bitter choice this would be for Bran to give up flying and become Bran the Broken once again.

 

 

8 hours ago, Arry'sFleas said:

 

Back in Heresy 183, Armstark put this question

Well, not to get into the whole skinchanging/warging debate again but what do you think of Borroq? Is he a skinchanger or warg?

Sorry to take so long to respond but i did not have access to the text these past few days.

The text clearly states that 'warg' is a term given by wildlings to those who skinchange with wolves or direwolves. What i still wonder is if the regular skinchanging bond is the same as the warg bond.

We get much insight into the warg bond of the Starklings, and in the Dance prologue, Haggon tells V6 that the wolf is part of him and he is part of the wolf and that they will both change. All consistent.

There is not much text elaborating on the nature of non warg skinchanging. Perhaps it is the same bond. Perhaps not, refer this bit of text, again from V6 recalling Haggon ' he taught me the way of the warg and the secrets of the skinchanger'.

Perhaps there is a hint there of some difference. Don't know.

 

I think there are many differences in the relationships between skinchanger and familiar; there is the forced mindrape kind of thing (Varamyr's other animals, Hodor) and the more natural two-way bond (Stark kids, Borroq, Varamyr and One-Eye) and the transitions between the nature of the bonds are fluid. I think Rickon is the deepest two-way bond we have seen while Varamyr and One-Eye or maybe Sansa and Lady are the weakest.

 

But "warg" only describes the type of animal and not the type of bond, although wolves seem to be the easiest animals to bond with.

 

8 hours ago, Black Crow said:

:agree: As is said elsewhere, some say that they are the Old Gods

Indeed.

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10 hours ago, Arry'sFleas said:

 

Back in Heresy 183, Armstark put this question

Well, not to get into the whole skinchanging/warging debate again but what do you think of Borroq? Is he a skinchanger or warg?

Sorry to take so long to respond but i did not have access to the text these past few days.

The text clearly states that 'warg' is a term given by wildlings to those who skinchange with wolves or direwolves. What i still wonder is if the regular skinchanging bond is the same as the warg bond.

We get much insight into the warg bond of the Starklings, and in the Dance prologue, Haggon tells V6 that the wolf is part of him and he is part of the wolf and that they will both change. All consistent.

There is not much text elaborating on the nature of non warg skinchanging. Perhaps it is the same bond. Perhaps not, refer this bit of text, again from V6 recalling Haggon ' he taught me the way of the warg and the secrets of the skinchanger'.

Perhaps there is a hint there of some difference. Don't know.

 

I wonder if the answer may actually be that skinchanging derives originally from the direwolves. We've speculated before about how the direwolves may have initiated the links with the Stark children rather than the other way around, and noted also how its a two way exchange in which the wolf is sometimes the dominant partner.

Werewolves are of course a common motif in the real world. Might it therefore be the case that the reason why wolves/wargs are said to be the commonest skinchangers is because they were the original skinchangers and taught the trick to the tree-huggers?

Mind you I still have suspicions about the crows.

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8 hours ago, Arry'sFleas said:

GRRM in his 1993 letter talked about 'the inhuman others, raise cold legions of the undead and the neverborn'

I thought that in this statement the 'neverborn' where the White Walkers. Am i mistaken or are the walkers classified here as nerverborn and there as 'not dead'?

 

 

My interpretation of this [assuming GRRM wasn't tying himself in knots] is that we have something of a hierarchy of demons:

At the top are the "inhuman others", who are clearly hiding behind that non-specific term and to my mind are actually the "inhuman Children".

The "cold legions of the undead" are what it says on the packet - the wights

And the "neverborn" who are not dead are the White Walkers, created from Craster's sons [or somebody else's sons back in the day]

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8 hours ago, Black Crow said:

My interpretation of this [assuming GRRM wasn't tying himself in knots] is that we have something of a hierarchy of demons:

At the top are the "inhuman others", who are clearly hiding behind that non-specific term and to my mind are actually the "inhuman Children".

The "cold legions of the undead" are what it says on the packet - the wights

And the "neverborn" who are not dead are the White Walkers, created from Craster's sons [or somebody else's sons back in the day]

That is also my current thinking; the WW are 'not dead' since they were 'never born'. I think GRRM talks in riddles at times...tired of answering questions?

But what i derive from the neverborn is that they actually do not exist beyond a mist of magic ice. I know it is hard to demonstrate in the case of what Will saw in the moonlight perched on his tree and in particular what he heard and what he saw once down from his tree. GRRM is after all also a science fiction writer (not that i have read any of his SF works, but the Faceless Men are very reminiscent of Herbert's Tlelaxu Face Dancers, but i digress..)

 

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10 hours ago, Armstark said:

I think there are many differences in the relationships between skinchanger and familiar; there is the forced mindrape kind of thing (Varamyr's other animals, Hodor) and the more natural two-way bond (Stark kids, Borroq, Varamyr and One-Eye) and the transitions between the nature of the bonds are fluid. I think Rickon is the deepest two-way bond we have seen while Varamyr and One-Eye or maybe Sansa and Lady are the weakest.

Varamyr and One Eye: yes, One Eye is a wolf.

Borroq? have you found any text that exemplifies his bond with 'Boar'?

 

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8 hours ago, Black Crow said:

I wonder if the answer may actually be that skinchanging derives originally from the direwolves. We've speculated before about how the direwolves may have initiated the links with the Stark children rather than the other way around, and noted also how its a two way exchange in which the wolf is sometimes the dominant partner.

Werewolves are of course a common motif in the real world. Might it therefore be the case that the reason why wolves/wargs are said to be the commonest skinchangers is because they were the original skinchangers and taught the trick to the tree-huggers?

Mind you I still have suspicions about the crows.

That's an interesting angle. The Children tell us the dire-wolves are an 'old' race, so it could well have been the first bond; whether the magic came from the animal or the inhuman is a good question.

I agree the Starklings' direwolves initiated the bond, Jon's case is well documented; in the case of Arya we see Nymeria taking over when Arya is escaping Harrenhal.

The crows (ravens?):  we know the Children skinchange the ravens that live in their cave. I actually wonder whether these same ravens are not the one's who skinchange the wights (not a lot of brain power needed to direct a few remaining blood cells)

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5 hours ago, Arry'sFleas said:

Varamyr and One Eye: yes, One Eye is a wolf.

Borroq? have you found any text that exemplifies his bond with 'Boar'?

 

I don't think there's anything specific, but as I recall its heavily emphasised how much he resembles "his" boar and I think that's meant to illustrate the bond. The long Stark faces may also hint at wolves and there was certainly "the Hungry Wolf".

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5 hours ago, Arry'sFleas said:

That is also my current thinking; the WW are 'not dead' since they were 'never born'. I think GRRM talks in riddles at times...tired of answering questions?

But what i derive from the neverborn is that they actually do not exist beyond a mist of magic ice. I know it is hard to demonstrate in the case of what Will saw in the moonlight perched on his tree and in particular what he heard and what he saw once down from his tree. GRRM is after all also a science fiction writer (not that i have read any of his SF works, but the Faceless Men are very reminiscent of Herbert's Tlelaxu Face Dancers, but i digress..)

 

He is indeed a science fiction writer and a great many of the themes from his earlier works are re-imagined and re-developed in ASoIF, but there really is no reason to doubt that Craster's boys appear in a corporeal form.

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3 hours ago, Black Crow said:

He is indeed a science fiction writer and a great many of the themes from his earlier works are re-imagined and re-developed in ASoIF, but there really is no reason to doubt that Craster's boys appear in a corporeal form.

I think i will have to disagree on this - for the time being. Craster's 's boys are indeed sacrificed, but is it so he can rule his roost with an iron fist, is it to the 'cold gods' whoever they are or to some other gods that keep his abode sheltered from the cold winds and mist? don't know.

In any case, his 'clients' have lost their supplier. :D

 

On a different topic, you mentioned earlier-on the battle for the dawn. I found this quote in the World of Ice and Fire (i believe you refer to it as the World Book):

' Indeed, some of the old wives' tales say that they never even beheld the light of day, so complete was the winter that fell on the world. While this last may well be no more than fancy, the fact that some cataclysm took place many thousands of years ago seems certain '

I understand this has been interpreted by some to be a comet colliding with a moon and causing a meteor shower with the end result being a generation long blockage of the sun, hence a long night. The collision being either a celestial hazard or magically induced.

If we go along with this, one can assume this LN would come to a natural end. Hence the battle for the dawn could just be embellished history, the resisting and eventually winning protagonists being greatly helped by the receding darkness and inevitable turn of the season.

 

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9 hours ago, Arry'sFleas said:

Varamyr and One Eye: yes, One Eye is a wolf.

Borroq? have you found any text that exemplifies his bond with 'Boar'?

 

 

Borroq looked so much like his boar that all he lacked was tusks

 

 

The skinchanger stopped ten yards away. His monster pawed at the mud, snuffling. A light powdering of snow covered the boar's humped black back. He gave a snort and lowered his head, and for half a heartbeat Jon thought he was about to charge. To either side of him, his men lowered their spears.

 

Amongst the riders came one man afoot, with some big beast trotting at his heels. A boar, Jon saw. A monstrous boar. Twice the size of Ghost, the creature was covered with coarse black hair, with tusks as long as a man's arm. Jon had never seen a boar so huge or ugly. The man beside him was no beauty either; hulking, black-browed, he had a flat nose, heavy jowls dark with stubble, small black close-set eyes.
"Borroq." Tormund turned his head and spat.
"A skinchanger." It was not a question. Somehow he knew.

 

 

 

His looks and mannerisms are heavily influenced by his bond to the boar.

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2 minutes ago, Armstark said:

His looks and mannerisms are heavily influenced by his bond to the boar.

i take your point.

The influence is so strong (nothing to do with Robert..just read your Qyburn OP!) that it could even be generational as BC alluded to with the Stark's long face.

 

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6 hours ago, Arry'sFleas said:

 

On a different topic, you mentioned earlier-on the battle for the dawn. I found this quote in the World of Ice and Fire (i believe you refer to it as the World Book):

' Indeed, some of the old wives' tales say that they never even beheld the light of day, so complete was the winter that fell on the world. While this last may well be no more than fancy, the fact that some cataclysm took place many thousands of years ago seems certain '

I understand this has been interpreted by some to be a comet colliding with a moon and causing a meteor shower with the end result being a generation long blockage of the sun, hence a long night. The collision being either a celestial hazard or magically induced.

If we go along with this, one can assume this LN would come to a natural end. Hence the battle for the dawn could just be embellished history, the resisting and eventually winning protagonists being greatly helped by the receding darkness and inevitable turn of the season.

 

Its a popular theory in some parts certainly, but whether it initiated the dodgy seasons or was just a periodic extreme manifestation, GRRM has said that the seasons and by extension the long night have a magical rather than a physical cause which will be revealed in due course. In theory of course a celestial catastrophe might be induced by magic - say drawing a moon or an asteroid out of its path but in the context of the question and answer I really don't think its anything so simple as that.

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5 hours ago, Arry'sFleas said:

I think i will have to disagree on this - for the time being. Craster's 's boys are indeed sacrificed, but is it so he can rule his roost with an iron fist, is it to the 'cold gods' whoever they are or to some other gods that keep his abode sheltered from the cold winds and mist? don't know.

I think, that were he capable of telling us, Ser Waymar would disagree with your contention that Craster's boys "do not exist beyond a mist of magic ice." GRRM has been very explicit in telling us otherwise through what Will's eyes saw very clearly and Sam later encountered, not to mention: 

'The Others are not dead. They are strange, beautiful… think, oh… the Sidhe made of ice, something like that… a different sort of life… inhuman, elegant, dangerous.”

"made of ice" [and held together by magic] is very different from made of mist and shadows. Its solid.

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17 hours ago, Arry'sFleas said:

I think i will have to disagree on this - for the time being. Craster's 's boys are indeed sacrificed, but is it so he can rule his roost with an iron fist, is it to the 'cold gods' whoever they are or to some other gods that keep his abode sheltered from the cold winds and mist? don't know.

In any case, his 'clients' have lost their supplier. :D

 

On a different topic, you mentioned earlier-on the battle for the dawn. I found this quote in the World of Ice and Fire (i believe you refer to it as the World Book):

' Indeed, some of the old wives' tales say that they never even beheld the light of day, so complete was the winter that fell on the world. While this last may well be no more than fancy, the fact that some cataclysm took place many thousands of years ago seems certain '

I understand this has been interpreted by some to be a comet colliding with a moon and causing a meteor shower with the end result being a generation long blockage of the sun, hence a long night. The collision being either a celestial hazard or magically induced.

If we go along with this, one can assume this LN would come to a natural end. Hence the battle for the dawn could just be embellished history, the resisting and eventually winning protagonists being greatly helped by the receding darkness and inevitable turn of the season.

 

Yes, I see a lot of wisdom in that, it makes sense of the myth and the oral history passed down. People trying to explain events beyond their comprehension notice some sort of cataclysm and relate it to some event happening around the general time of it and their minds link the two together as if one beget the other when in reality 2 different events happened independent of the other but the minds of human beings connect the two. 

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11 hours ago, Black Crow said:

'The Others are not dead. They are strange, beautiful… think, oh… the Sidhe made of ice, something like that… a different sort of life… inhuman, elegant, dangerous.”

I have seen the quote before and true: 'made of ice' is not quite the same as 'made from ice'.

It still puzzles me that Grenn who was a first hand witness both at the Fist battle with the wights and at the WW encounter in the forest should still lump them together, refer Sam's remark in SoS, Sam II:

"Yes," said Sam, "but is it the cold that brings the wights, or the wights that bring the cold?"

"Who cares?" Grenn's axe sent wood chips flying. "They come together, that's what matters. Hey, now that we know that dragonglass kills them, maybe they won't come at all.

Still, whether made of solid, liquid or mist ice, the purpose of frightening men and perpetuating the legend is achieved.

 

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12 hours ago, Black Crow said:

Its a popular theory in some parts certainly, but whether it initiated the dodgy seasons or was just a periodic extreme manifestation, GRRM has said that the seasons and by extension the long night have a magical rather than a physical cause which will be revealed in due course. In theory of course a celestial catastrophe might be induced by magic - say drawing a moon or an asteroid out of its path but in the context of the question and answer I really don't think its anything so simple as that.

do we have anything supporting that the seasons were not out of wack before the LN cataclysm?

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29 minutes ago, Neds Secret said:

Yes, I see a lot of wisdom in that, it makes sense of the myth and the oral history passed down. People trying to explain events beyond their comprehension notice some sort of cataclysm and relate it to some event happening around the general time of it and their minds link the two together as if one beget the other when in reality 2 different events happened independent of the other but the minds of human beings connect the two. 

and the saga is full of legends recounted by Old Nan's and Mum's, just like in our current world.

I guess the question really is how humans (and other old races such as giants) did survive the 'Others' invasion during the LN, which brings us back to the Battle for the Dawn: what was it?

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4 hours ago, Arry'sFleas said:

do we have anything supporting that the seasons were not out of wack before the LN cataclysm?

No, there's an absence of evidence in the lack of references to dodgy seasons before it happened, which isn't proof in itself by any means, but GRRM's statement that there is a magical cause strongly points to the Long Night. This, as I recall, came about in the context of theories that the seasons were down to an eliptical orbit or some similar astronomical phenomenon. No says GRRM its down to magic, and that in turn means an initiating event. It may not have been the Long Night and indeed its possible that the Hammer upset things in strange and mysterious ways of which the Night was an inadvertent one. However as we're talking about weather I think it more likely it was the Long Night which kicked everything off.

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