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The Fattest Leech

Nymeria is poised to return

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Yes, exactly. He's there for a reason. As are they all. 

I'm hoping to come up with something of actual relevance to say on this thread, but am lost in a sea of Christmas wrapping paper and oiling the kitchen worktop/sealing the new stone flooring.  Fingers crossed I get to mull it over properly at some point. But to be quite honest I think you've pretty much got it covered. I love the links you have made here. 

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I'm gonna go wade in the crackpot pool for just a minute. Join me for a swim if you want, otherwise, avert your eyes now... 3. 2. 1...

Could we, the readers, be interpreting the NW vows incorrectly on some level, the same as the NW men themselves and anyone else in Westeros, and Mel is has now decoded it??? Could it be possible that Melisandre magiked the mutineers to stab Jon because she believes that the Long Night has already "gathered" and she now believes that Jon is AA, and she needs Jon to be "reborn" to begin his watch?

Basically, Jon's watch doesn't happen until the LN does???

Quick refresher #1. The NW Vows:

Night gathers, and now my watch begins. It shall not end until my death. I shall take no wife, hold no lands, father no children. I shall wear no crowns and win no glory. I shall live and die at my post. I am the sword in the darkness. I am the watcher on the walls. I am the fire that burns against the cold, the light that brings the dawn, the horn that wakes the sleepers, the shield that guards the realms of men. I pledge my life and honor to the Night's Watch, for this night and all the nights to come.

Quick refresher #2. Mel's possible stronger-at-the-wall magic possibly making the mutineers sacrifice Jon to fulfill what she sees as THE, or her, destiny.

George does say that Mel looks out for herself first (video). Earlier in the thread I proposed that possibly Mel used magic to somehow influence the mutineers stabbers. I won't repeat too much here, but this post on PG 3 gives the details.

Also, we are also told time and again that the wall is not what it used to be, going from a high honored position filled with noblemen and knights, to currently filled with thieves and rapists and criminals thanks to the Targs setting up the King's Guard. But more importantly, the Nights Watch has forgotten its purpose:

  • "Spare me your but's, boy," Lord Mormont interrupted. "I would not be sitting here were it not for you and that beast of yours. You fought bravely … and more to the point, you thought quickly. Fire! Yes, damn it. We ought to have known. We ought to have remembered. The Long Night has come before. Oh, eight thousand years is a good while, to be sure … yet if the Night's Watch does not remember, who will?"
    "Who will," chimed the talkative raven. "Who will."    <<< Jon will when he learns better and the man is born.
  • The Wall was made to defend the realms of the First Men, and the men of the Night's Watch have reportedly defended the Wall against Others and other monsters for eight thousand years since the end of the Long Night. Wiki Source.
George has also said, many times, that Melisandre is not good at interrupting the flames because they are not always clear. (confirmed in video linked above). We readers now know that Mel has asked to see a glimpse of Azor Ahai thinking she will see Stannis, but she is shown only Snow (capital S).
  • Yet now she could not even seem to find her king. I pray for a glimpse of Azor Ahai, and R'hllor shows me only Snow. "Devan," she called, "a drink." Her throat was raw and parched.

Has this all now connected in Melisandre's mind???

Thoughts? Or not :dunno:

Quick note about how Melisandre is consistently misidentifying people in her flames:

  1. Renly was actually Garlan Tyrell
  2. "Arya" was actually Alys Karstark, and now possibly Jeyne Poole. So two for one there.
  3. Stannis as AA is actually Jon
  4. Other possible misinterpreted visions could be "daggers in the dark" for something at WInterfell

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I never liked the idea that Mellisandre would resurrect Jon. Mainly cos I hated R'hllor and Mel and all that stuff. 

But I've spent a lot of time looking at both Mel & her religion since I first read the books. And I now see them slightly differently. Though I still dislike the idea of them having anything to do with Jon at all. But this is due to my own hatred or organised religion. Basically I want him to get everything he needs to save the world from the Old Gods.  Cos I like the concept of a devotion based on plants and animals and coexisting in a respectful and mystical manor far far more appealing. 

So, Mellisandre. I used to argue that we don't even know if she could or would think to attempt the fire kiss on Jon. I mean it is only Thoros who has successfully done this, and she is unaware of his feat.  But then when we get into analysing her and her magic, I think we are supposed to draw some parallels with MMD and what did MMD do? why, she resurrected a dead man, all be it without his mind. But hey ho. She still did it. And she required a brazier for the purpose. She also told us only life can pay for death and that she needed a horse too, but what do we learn from Mellisandre? Smoke n mirrors is what. And we see in MMD's actions back in AGOT that she isn't adverse to utilising a bit of showmanship herself. She throws a red powder onto the fire and the smoke sends people fleeing in terror from the tent. And Mel tells us of a powder to instil fear. And Benerro uses the powders Mel describes as being able to cast the glyphs in the air. Might be the shadows dancing in the tent are produced in this manor as well?

 I propose that MMD did the Fire Kiss spell and the horse was just bravado. She wanted to make the Dothraki fear her I think. And she wanted Dany to be afraid too. I think she simply took advantage of the death of Rhaego to manipulate Dany. I have wondered too if MMD saw much of Dany's future in the flames. We know it is not an exclusive to the Red Priests skill. Alys Rivers does it in TP&TQ. She gives the "curse" and things become uncannily accurate when the conditions begin coming true.  Though MMD would need to be exceptional at reading the flames, but I do wonder. And the reason I've mentioned this is to highlight how much of what Mel and the other Red Priests demonstrate can be seen elsewhere in the books being done by non R'hllor affiliated people. And the majority are done by MMD. I think there is a parallel between her and Mel and that this shows us Mel can do the Fire Kiss. Now we just have to think about if she would really orchestrate Jon's death in order to do so?  I'm not certain, it's a bit risky, one assumes Mel has not done it before? though I do think that she has had it done to her. But she'd have to be confident in her ability to bring him back I think. Maybe she is. 

Now i will admit, my acceptance that he may be dead, and that she may resurrect him, comes purely from my realisation that there is no R'hllor and that these powers don't come from nor are they exclusive to the red Priests themselves, due to their devotion.  They are simply magics, which some people utilise to persuade others of a god. We realise it's bollocks when Beric just passes the flame to cat, he ain't no red priest, and evidently the fire is an actual thing which is sustaining him. Not a miracle granted by some god. 

And we know that Only Life Can Pay For Death is Bull shit, because Thoros kills nothing and nobody to resurrect Beric.  

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On 12/8/2016 at 6:44 AM, The Weirwoods Eyes said:

I never liked the idea that Mellisandre would resurrect Jon. Mainly cos I hated R'hllor and Mel and all that stuff. 

Great response. Thank you. And yes, I too hate the Melisandre and red god stuff for the same organized religion idea.

On 12/8/2016 at 6:44 AM, The Weirwoods Eyes said:

Basically I want him to get everything he needs to save the world from the Old Gods.  Cos I like the concept of a devotion based on plants and animals and coexisting in a respectful and mystical manor far far more appealing. 

This appears to be the set up we are going to get. Why else would Jon make the realizations he has about the old gods, and Ghost, and saving the realms of men- which includes the wildlings, if we are not going to get any practice in that?

On 12/8/2016 at 6:44 AM, The Weirwoods Eyes said:

So, Mellisandre. I used to argue that we don't even know if she could or would think to attempt the fire kiss on Jon. I mean it is only Thoros who has successfully done this, and she is unaware of his feat.  But then when we get into analysing her and her magic, I think we are supposed to draw some parallels with MMD and what did MMD do? why, she resurrected a dead man, all be it without his mind. But hey ho. She still did it. And she required a brazier for the purpose. She also told us only life can pay for death and that she needed a horse too, but what do we learn from Mellisandre? Smoke n mirrors is what. And we see in MMD's actions back in AGOT that she isn't adverse to utilising a bit of showmanship herself. She throws a red powder onto the fire and the smoke sends people fleeing in terror from the tent. And Mel tells us of a powder to instil fear. And Benerro uses the powders Mel describes as being able to cast the glyphs in the air. Might be the shadows dancing in the tent are produced in this manor as well?

 I very much agree that Mirri is the Mel in Jon's arc. Jon and Dany have several parallels that reflect how each one handles a similar situation and the outcome based on their decisions.

On 12/8/2016 at 6:44 AM, The Weirwoods Eyes said:

 I propose that MMD did the Fire Kiss spell and the horse was just bravado. She wanted to make the Dothraki fear her I think. And she wanted Dany to be afraid too. I think she simply took advantage of the death of Rhaego to manipulate Dany.

That would be the best way to make a Dothraki fear you... mess with their spirit animals!

On 12/8/2016 at 6:44 AM, The Weirwoods Eyes said:

I have wondered too if MMD saw much of Dany's future in the flames. We know it is not an exclusive to the Red Priests skill. Alys Rivers does it in TP&TQ. She gives the "curse" and things become uncannily accurate when the conditions begin coming true.

I think a few detailed readers have wondered this along the ways. I tend to believe it is a real possibility that MMD could read flames, and that she would be better at it than Mel is. MMD seems to read the flames more acuurately, but gives a more cryptic answer, where Mel is bad at reading and interpreting the flames, but Mel wants to give an "true" answer like those I listed above. This is an example of what I mean when I say that Jon and Dany are given similar situations/people, but they are handled differently, which will shape the two differently.

 

On 12/8/2016 at 6:44 AM, The Weirwoods Eyes said:

 Though MMD would need to be exceptional at reading the flames, but I do wonder.

Didn't MMD and Marwyn study together, or work together, or something? Marwyn sees something in his glass candle that sets him running to Dany. There could be something there with what you mentioned???

On 12/8/2016 at 6:44 AM, The Weirwoods Eyes said:

And the reason I've mentioned this is to highlight how much of what Mel and the other Red Priests demonstrate can be seen elsewhere in the books being done by non R'hllor affiliated people. And the majority are done by MMD. I think there is a parallel between her and Mel and that this shows us Mel can do the Fire Kiss. Now we just have to think about if she would really orchestrate Jon's death in order to do so?  I'm not certain, it's a bit risky, one assumes Mel has not done it before? though I do think that she has had it done to her. But she'd have to be confident in her ability to bring him back I think. Maybe she is. 

I wonder how confident Mel actually is at times. She admits to Jon that she screws up, and Mel makes it sound that actual spells and magic are her "backup" to her more relied upon potions. Maybe I read that wrong:blink:

I see Mel as being willing to attempt to raise Jon by sacrificing Shireen. Melisandre and Selyse together seem like religious fanatics enough to try this. Selyse won't even touch her child's face, so I think Selyse has doubts about her daughter and how long she expects Shireen to live anyway. Shireen dreamt of dancing dragons eating her :(

This is sorta what I was speculating in that Mel probably thinks that AA needs to be literally reborn in fire. She asks to see AA and gets Snow. Does she think that Jon is now AA (not Stannis) and that Jon has to be literally reborn in fire and only she can do that because she is a priestess of the red god and it is her duty??? So she will take Shireen to do so???

On 12/8/2016 at 6:44 AM, The Weirwoods Eyes said:

Now i will admit, my acceptance that he may be dead, and that she may resurrect him, comes purely from my realisation that there is no R'hllor and that these powers don't come from nor are they exclusive to the red Priests themselves, due to their devotion.  They are simply magics, which some people utilise to persuade others of a god. We realise it's bollocks when Beric just passes the flame to cat, he ain't no red priest, and evidently the fire is an actual thing which is sustaining him. Not a miracle granted by some god. 

And we know that Only Life Can Pay For Death is Bull shit, because Thoros kills nothing and nobody to resurrect Beric.  

Maybe the worms under the hill all curled up and died and then Beric had the souls of worms keeping him alive!!! I am just kidding :lol:

Not sure if you ever saw the thread, but Lost Melnibonean proposed a similar idea a while back, that the powers of Thoros and Beric came from the old gods. I can see that being a possibility because they seem surprised when certain "religious" things happen and they can't explain why. Plus, in a way, Lady Stoneheart is the the old gods rule of the right to revenge for breaking guest right come to life (amongst other things).

Oh well, as I first mentioned, this is just diversionary crackpot speculation. ^_^

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Thanks @The Fattest Leech

Everything MMD in the tent scene is just SO OTT dramatic. I mean slashing a stallions throat is seriously stage show level dramatic. And using the fear powder tells us her intention, she wants to put the shits up everyone and come across as seriously powerful. 

We know you don't need death to pay for life. So we know she was talking shit and showing off here.  And yes she did study with Marwyn. I think that the hints that she can do the flame thing come sin when we stop to think about what she may have been learning in her various places of study, it seems to me that she would have come across the fire reading thing and that if you have the ability to do magic, you can see in the flames too, given practice and the knowledge of how it is done. I think Alys Rivers is one of the most interesting clues here. She is no red priest, and she also uses other mediums. Pools of water, storm clouds. you know. And Alys is given long black hair and a name which is the pre-fix for many Blackwood womens names. As well as being of the Riverlands. So I think we are supposed to guess she is a Blackwood bastard, and in that case she is of the Old Gods.  I've been wondering if Val may shock us all at the wall by doing a bit of scrying herself. Or Morna. It seems that Alys, if she is a Blackwood, has learnt the art as part of say a woodswitches trade. So this got me thinking about MMD and her uncannily accurate prophesy for Danny. 

I've not read that thread. I shall attempt to find it. 

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I am putting this here so I can link to it in from the main post.

First, I realize that some of this with Davos may just be in keeping with certain themes George has worked in to the books. But, we will see ;)

Davos! The only person to make Thing feel tall. But how does he link to Val and Jon and historic Nymeria?:

  1. In addition to the references of the book Conquest of Dorne and the letter that drives Davos to get Stannis to the wall, we have Davos go to White Harbor to see Manderly, and while there, Davos is under the sea. Patchface again!
    • Two marble mermen flanked his lordship's court, Fishfoot's smaller cousins. As the guards threw open the doors, a herald slammed the butt of his staff against an old plank floor. "Ser Davos of House Seaworth," he called in a ringing voice. As many times as he had visited White Harbor, Davos had never set foot inside the New Castle, much less the Merman's Court. Its walls and floor and ceiling were made of wooden planks notched cunningly together and decorated with all the creatures of the sea. As they approached the dais, Davos trod on painted crabs and clams and starfish, half-hidden amongst twisting black fronds of seaweed and the bones of drowned sailors. On the walls to either side, pale sharks prowled painted blue-green depths, whilst eels and octopods slithered amongst rocks and sunken ships. Shoals of herring and great codfish swam between the tall arched windows. Higher up, near where the old fishing nets drooped down from the rafters, the surface of the sea had been depicted. To his right a war galley stroked serene against the rising sun; to his left, a battered old cog raced before a storm, her sails in rags. Behind the dais a kraken and grey leviathan were locked in battle beneath the painted waves.  Davos had hoped to speak with Wyman Manderly alone, but he found a crowded court. Along the walls, the women outnumbered the men by five to one
      • Davos seems to have taken a visit to the "watery halls" we keep hearing about. Maybe???
      • Sidenote: "women outnumbered the men five to one," is exactly the ration of Free Folk to NW Brothers that Jon describes in ADWD/Jon XIII, "The wildlings outnumbered the crows by five to one, judging by how little black he saw."
  2. Davos is married to Marya Seaworth. Marya is pronounced like Meria, as in Nymeria and Meria Martell who boldly turned her back to the dragons during Aegon's conquest.
  3. The last name Seaworth is a nice, albeit small, connection.
  4. Davos and Marya did have seven children, but they have died off... and mostly because of this war that is pushed along due to a relgion and their fascination with the red god.
  5. Davos is a smuggler and once a pirate, which is a type of theif. Jon is a theif as in the constellation and also a thief in that he "stole" his wildling wife (wives).
  6. BONUS! Manderly, leaves his New Castle that is "under the sea" and travels up the river the White Knife to go save the Ned's Girl. Hmmm, where else do we see a white knife in relation to this particular arc???
    • Val patted the long bone knife on her hip. "Lord Crow is welcome to steal into my bed any night he dares. Once he's been gelded, keeping those vows will come much easier for him."
  7. Davos arrives, steals to be exact, into White Harbor on the Merry Midwife. We see how Jon makes Val the midwife to Dalla.
    • A Dance with Dragons - Davos II

      The Merry Midwife stole into White Harbor on the evening tide, her patched sail rippling with every gust of wind.

I'm sure there is more, but this is all I have time to update for now. Please feel free to add on!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by The Fattest Leech

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Adding another one here so I can link to it from the main post.

This one is about the Wall itself, and how it connects to Jon and Val in a way I never realized until doing some extracurricular reading.

Here is an excellent article from a historian that actually does Wall to Wall comparison  http://history-behind-game-of-thrones.com/ancienthistory/the-wall

  1. We know that the Wall, and therefore much of the Brothers of the NW, are based on Hadrian's Wall, more historically named Vallum Aelium. We know this because George said so in the ancient days of the year 2000. The map of Hadrian's Wall looks suspiciously like the ASIOAF Wall as well. Vallum in Latin is the English word for Wall. Hadrian's Wall was built to keep the "wildlings" ("barbarians" of our day) of the time out of the "civilized" (dragon conquered) realm.
  • No sources survive to confirm what the wall was called in antiquity, and no historical literary source gives it a name. This sounds super familiar, doesn't it? How often do we readers talk about, or read about, how the in-world history is shady, not consistent, and indistinguishable from myth? Answer: Every damn day!
  • However, the discovery of the Staffordshire Moorlands Pan in Staffordshire in 2003 has provided a clue. This small enamelled bronze Roman trulla (ladle), dating to the 2nd century AD, is inscribed with a series of names of Roman forts along the western sector of the wall, together with a personal name and phrase: MAIS COGGABATA VXELODVNVM CAMBOGLANNA RIGORE VALI AELI DRACONIS. This is totally the Horn of Joramun. However, the Horn of Joramun is NOT the one Melisandre burned with fake-Mance. The Horn of Joramun is the one Jon found back in ACOK and is now with Sam down at the citadel. George swapped a ladel for a horn because horns are very important in Norse mythology and that is the other half George is basing this story on.
  • Another look at the inscribed names on the real world ladle and you will see it has some words that George used to name other castles along the ASOIAF Wall when translated (see link), but also the words Vali and Draconis. The genitive singular form of vallum is valli, so one of the most likely meanings is VAL[L]I, "of the Wall"The name AELI was Hadrian's nomen, his main family name, the gens Aelia. DRACONIS can be translated as "[by the hand – or property] of Draco". Draco also means dragon, and is a constellation as well. We know by now how Jon is tied to the stars, including the ice dragon himself. I pointed out in the main OP that after Jon is chosen as LC, he says repeatedly that the wall is his.
  • Part of Hadrian's Wall defenses was a vallum ditch that was dug into the ground and used as a trap. Well, in TWOW, Theon 1, we learn this:
    • Spoiler

       

      The king gave the bird an irritated look. "That Braavosi banker claimed Ser Aenys Frey is dead. Did some boy do that?"
      "Twenty green boys, with spades," Theon told him. "The snow fell heavily for days. So heavily that you could not see the castle walls ten yards away, no more than the men up on the battlements could see what was happening beyond those walls. So Crowfood set his boys to digging pits outside the castle gates, then blew his horn to lure Lord Bolton out. Instead he got the Freys. The snow had covered up the pits, so they rode right into them. Aenys broke his neck, I heard, but Ser Hosteen only lost a horse, more's the pity. He will be angry now."

       

  1. It was Hadrian's wish to keep "intact the empire", which had been imposed on him via "divine instruction" (sourced from this book). It is concluded by most that Hadrian made a stop somewhere in the northern frontier to inspect the building of the wall. This sounds exactly like "Good" Queen Alysanne and King Jaehaerys making their not-so-peaceful voyage north that resulted in lands being taken away from the Starks and crucial parts of the Night's Watch being closed off to magic, the northern culture and northern inhabitants of the land.  Remember, George has said many times that the Targaryens think of themselves as "above the gods", and therefore men as well.
  2. Hadrian's Wall was even built like the ASOIAF Wall. Wider at the base than the top, and the inner base is made of stone, and it has passage tunnels from one side to the other.
  3. There were also garrison's along the wall which ended up being places of political influence rather then the military influence it was supposed to be. We see this exact issue (noted in the OP) with Marsh, Yarwyck and Thorne when Jon first catches them scheming while they are in the bathhouse, and then again a few times as when Thorne tries to convince Jon to join Tywin for political reasons.
  4. There is a commanding headquarters there with the name Stanwix. Stanwix... as in King Stannis??? Ya don't say.
  5. Stanwix was set up with a special communication system between that location and the next castle called...York... which we know is where George got the inspiration for the Starks. Ya don't say.
  6. Hadrian's Wall and the Roman conquest did fail, and the wall was dismantled over time. I wonder if this has any bearing on the ASOIAF story as well???

Anyway, I am eager to get feedback on these connections. :cheers:

ADDING now because I should have put this in to begin with, but duh!, I didn't.

For reference, the vows:

Night gathers, and now my watch begins. It shall not end until my death. I shall take no wife, hold no lands, father no children. I shall wear no crowns and win no glory. I shall live and die at my post. I am the sword in the darkness. I am the watcher on the walls. I am the fire that burns against the cold, the light that brings the dawn, the horn that wakes the sleepers, the shield that guards the realms of men. I pledge my life and honor to the Night's Watch, for this night and all the nights to come.

Why do the vows include walls plural?

I am not claiming that ASOIAF has a second wall, but why walls? In the years after Hadrian's death in 138, the new emperor, Antoninus Pius, essentially abandoned the wall, leaving it occupied in a support role, and began building a new wall called the Antonine Wall, about 160 kilometres (100 mi) north.

ADDING again. Ok, another poster just shared a link with me that could possibly explain the plurals walls. It is not too crackpotty, and actually just uses book text to give a nice, simple answer. But I still wonder why the NW oaths would include these potential other walls. Here is the link https://endgameofthrones.com/2015/05/25/the-black-and-bloodied-gates-of-dawn/

A second poster also pointed out that the walls plural is because the "first" NW was actually when the people from different castles stood atop their won walls (castles, forts, etc) and kept a watch. This was before the wall was built. Just a thought.

ADDING AGAIN again: Just a random thought about the walls plural. While there may not be two different walls in ASOIAF, we do learn from Coldhands that there is a "door" three leagues north of Bloodraven's cave entrance. Why a door? A door sounds too architecturally specific. Caves and other natural formations don't usually have doors, but rather openings, entrances, passageways and even the oft used mouth. And keep in mind that the Black Gate at Nightfort is down in a well.

  • A Dance with Dragons - Bran II

"Is this the only way in?" asked Meera.
"The back door is three leagues north, down a sinkhole." [Coldhands]
Edited by The Fattest Leech
updated more

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Gonna put this here to also link to from the main post.

Will the Free Folk follow Jon and Val after they cross the wall???

Yes, because they already have. Both Gilly and the first wave of "captured" Free Folk kneel and pay homage to Jon as they pass through the wall. Something happened that gave the wildlings the idea that Jon is their new leader, and Val as well. ADWD/Jon III has a ton of clues to this if you want a full re-read.

A Storm of Swords - Jon X

"I've never had a crown on my head or sat my arse on a bloody throne, if that's what you're asking," Mance replied. "My birth is as low as a man's can get, no septon's ever smeared my head with oils, I don't own any castles, and my queen wears furs and amber, not silk and sapphires. I am my own champion, my own fool, and my own harpist. You don't become King-beyond-the-Wall because your father was. The free folk won't follow a name, and they don't care which brother was born first. They follow fighters. When I left the Shadow Tower there were five men making noises about how they might be the stuff of kings. Tormund was one, the Magnar another. The other three I slew, when they made it plain they'd sooner fight than follow."

A Dance with Dragons - Jon II

"He'll be down with the books. My old septon used to say that books are dead men talking. Dead men should keep quiet, is what I say. No one wants to hear a dead man's yabber." Dolorous Edd went off muttering of worms and spiders.
When Gilly entered, she went at once to her knees. Jon came around the table and drew her to her feet. "You don't need to take a knee for me. That's just for kings."

A Dance with Dragons - Jon III

 Soon or late, however, Tormund Giantsbane would assault the Wall again, and when that hour came Jon wondered whose side Stannis's new-made subjects would choose. You can give them land and mercy, but the free folk choose their own kings, and it was Mance they chose, not you.

And we know that Stannis and everyone else, except Jon ;), knows that Val is not a wildling princess the way those south of the wall think of it. But the Free Folk bow to her anyway as Stannis puts her on the platform next to him as Mel burns "Mance"/Rattleshirt. Clearly Stannis sees the power in Val.

Before I get to the Val on the platform idea, I want to give a quick reminder of Mel and her tricks and wise (wo)men. We saw in the main post how Val is the wise woman, and also how Mel is associated with smells when magic is being cast:

  1. "Mummers change their faces with artifice," the kindly man was saying, "and sorcerers use glamors, weaving light and shadow and desire to make illusions that trick the eye. These arts you shall learn, but what we do here goes deeper. Wise men can see through artifice, and glamors dissolve before sharp eyes,
  2. ADWD/ Jon VI: In the shadow of the Wall, the direwolf brushed up against his fingers. For half a heartbeat the night came alive with a thousand smells, and Jon Snow heard the crackle of the crust breaking on a patch of old snow. Someone was behind him, he realized suddenly. Someone who smelled warm as a summer day.
    When he turned he saw Ygritte.
  3. ASOS/ Davos III: "With a smile and swirl of scarlet skirts, she was gone. Only her scent lingered after."
 
Then we get to the fMance/Rattleshirt burning. This is a big scene in terms of importance. Not only are the free folk bowing to Val, we see the message from Melisandre to the free folk that you submit, or you burn. Sound familiar?:

A Dance with Dragons - Jon III

His words fell on deaf ears. Stannis had remained unmoved. The law was plain; a deserter's life was forfeit.
Beneath the weeping Wall, Lady Melisandre raised her pale white hands. "We all must choose," she proclaimed. "Man or woman, young or old, lord or peasant, our choices are the same." Her voice made Jon Snow think of anise and nutmeg and cloves. She stood at the king's side on a wooden scaffold raised above the pit. "We choose light or we choose darkness. We choose good or we choose evil. We choose the true god or the false."
(and then Melisandre burns fMance)

But what is Val doing in this scene??? Why, she is behaving as a wise woman and she is already dressed and crowned a queen and she will not weep or look away. Val is displaying leadership qualities that we readers have known about since the first chapter of the first book.

  • AGOT/Bran I: 
    Bran's bastard brother Jon Snow moved closer. "Keep the pony well in hand," he whispered. "And don't look away. Father will know if you do."
    Bran kept his pony well in hand, and did not look away.

Ok, back to the Mel burning "Mance" scene. Val mentions that she knows Mel's tricks including, but not limited to, "Because it suited her [Mel]. Fire is a fickle thing. No one knows which way a flame will go." It seems here Val knows that fMance is actually Rattleshirt burning...

He [Stannis] is stone and she [Mel] is flame. ... Val stood beside him, tall and fair. They had crowned her with a simple circlet of dark bronze, yet she looked more regal in bronze than Stannis did in gold. Her eyes were grey and fearless, unflinching. Beneath an ermine cloak, she wore white and gold. Her honey-blond hair had been done up in a thick braid that hung over her right shoulder to her waist. The chill in the air had put color in her cheeks.

(and then a few lines later)

Val stood on the platform as still as if she had been carved of salt. She will not weep nor look away. Jon wondered what Ygritte would have done in her place. The women are the strong ones.

And then Stannis gives this charming piece of advice to the cold, naked, freezing, starving wildlings. No wonder they bent the knee and burned weirwood sticks:

"Westeros has but one king," said Stannis. His voice rang harsh, with none of Melisandre's music. "With this sword I defend my subjects and destroy those who menace them. Bend the knee, and I promise you food, land, and justice. Kneel and live. Or go and die. The choice is yours." He slipped Lightbringer into its scabbard, and the world darkened once again, as if the sun had gone behind a cloud. "Open the gates."
"OPEN THE GATES," bellowed Ser Clayton Suggs, in a voice as deep as a warhorn...
"Come," urged Melisandre. "Come to the light … or run back to the darkness." In the pit below her, the fire was crackling. "If you choose life, come to me."

(and then Jon thinks this)

And they came. Slowly at first, some limping or leaning on their fellows, the captives began to emerge from their rough-hewn pen. If you would eat, come to me, Jon thought. If you would not freeze or starve, submit.

But we know that Jon knows the Free Folk will not submit to Stannis, but what do the Free Folk do instead, they are kneeling to Val up on the platform. The Free Folk just saw their "king" burned, and their "queen" Dalla is dead. That leaves Val as a next in line to follow. Val did not chose to be their leader, as is the Free Folk way, instead they chose her and bow to her. Remember, Val is right  next to Stannis:

Sigorn was the first to kneel before the king. The new Magnar of Thenn was a younger, shorter version of his father—lean, balding, clad in bronze greaves and a leather shirt sewn with bronze scales. Next came Rattleshirt in clattering armor made of bones and boiled leather, his helm a giant's skull. Under the bones lurked a ruined and wretched creature with cracked brown teeth and a yellow tinge to the whites of his eyes. A small, malicious, treacherous man, as stupid as he is cruel. Jon did not believe for a moment that he would keep faith. He wondered what Val was feeling as she watched him kneel, forgiven. (TeeHee, Val knows!)
Lesser leaders followed. Two clan chiefs of the Hornfoot men, whose feet were black and hard. An old wisewoman revered by the peoples of the Milkwater. A scrawny dark-eyed boy of two-and-ten, the son of Alfyn Crowkiller. Halleck, brother to Harma Dogshead, with her pigs.

Having knelt, the wildlings shuffled past the ranks of the black brothers to the gate. Jon had detailed Horse and Satin and half a dozen others to lead them through the Wall with torches. On the far side, bowls of hot onion soup awaited them, and chunks of black bread and sausage. Clothes as well: cloaks, breeches, boots, tunics, good leather gloves. They would sleep on piles of clean straw, with fires blazing to keep the chill of night at bay. This king was nothing if not methodical. Soon or late, however, Tormund Giantsbane would assault the Wall again, and when that hour came Jon wondered whose side Stannis's new-made subjects would choose. You can give them land and mercy, but the free folk choose their own kings, and it was Mance they chose, not you.

The Free Folk have knelt to Val and chosen her a their leader. Jon sends Val out to find the rest of the wildlings with Tormund a few weeks later. That second wave of Free Folk pay homage to Jon as they pass though the wall by way of gifts and valuables, and even giving up their own children.

The Free Folk are also choosing Jon as we see the kingsguard do back at the Tower of Joy:

  • "I came down on Storm's End to lift the siege," Ned told them, "and the Lords Tyrell and Redwyne dipped their banners, and all their knights bent the knee to pledge us fealty. I was certain you would be among them."
    "Our knees do not bend easily," said Ser Arthur Dayne.
 
And some of the best foreshadowing we see to this mistaken bowing/honoring is in ACOK, Theon II, when Theon is in Lordsport on Pyke about to select his crew for his ship, the Sea Bitch, and he runs in to "Esgred". Theon thinks everyone on the island is bowing to him, and that the dogs in the castle love him... but it turns out that the Pyke folk are bowing to who they see as their princess, Asha. In the following scenes after this Esgred mishap, Theon finds Asha up on a platform in a position of honor next to their father, Balon.
  1. Lordsport was as crowded as he'd ever seen it, swarming with the crews of the longships that lined the pebbled shore and rode at anchor well out past the breakwater. Ironmen did not bend their knees often nor easily, but Theon noted that oarsmen and townfolk alike grew quiet as they passed, and acknowledged him with respectful bows of the head. They have finally learned who I am, he thought. And past time too. <<< Esgred/Asha is walking with Theon here. The people are bowing to Asha.
  2. When Wex saw Esgred, his eyes went round. You'd think he'd never seen a woman before, Theon thought.
  3. The hounds were barking wildly as he helped Esgred dismount. Several came bounding up, tails wagging. They shot straight past him and almost bowled the woman over, leaping all around her, yapping and licking. "Off," Theon shouted, aiming an ineffectual kick at one big brown bitch, but Esgred was laughing and wrestling with them.
  4. Neither the dancers nor the drinkers took much note of Theon Greyjoy as he strode to the dais. Lord Balon occupied the Seastone Chair, carved in the shape of a great kraken from an immense block of oily black stone. Legend said that the First Men had found it standing on the shore of Old Wyk when they came to the Iron Islands. To the left of the high seat were Theon's uncles. Asha was ensconced at his right hand, in the place of honor. "You come late, Theon," Lord Balon observed. (this is also a clue that Theon is acting out a Torgon "the Latecomer" Greyiron theme).
Edited by The Fattest Leech
added more info

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16 hours ago, The Fattest Leech said:

snip

I like this part. Just a simple observation.

The Free Folk choose their leaders and they have chosen Val as they have proved in ADWD which is something that Val and Jon have in common. Much like Nymeria’s marriage with Mors their marriage will not be the marriage of a King or a leader and a commoner or a subject but a marriage between equals.

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Gonna put this here to link to from the main post.

The symbolism of the gold crown up top Queenscrowne

I think I have finally found the link to the gold painted crown on the Queenscrowne tower, and the statue of Daeron in Oldtown with his sword pointing towards Dorne. Both are symbolic reminders of conquer- just like the iron throne.

Back in ASOS, Davos has a conversation with the maester and the topic of the book Conquest of Dorne comes up. Then, a few chronoligical chapters later, Sam goes to Oltown and he sees that statue and gives a little backstory on it mixed in with a heavy, heavy dose of scenic symbolism.

A Feast for Crows - Samwell V

The gates of the Citadel were flanked by a pair of towering green sphinxes with the bodies of lions, the wings of eagles, and the tails of serpents. One had a man's face, one a woman's. Just beyond stood Scribe's Hearth, where Oldtowners came in search of acolytes to write their wills and read their letters. Half a dozen bored scribes sat in open stalls, waiting for some custom. At other stalls books were being bought and sold. Sam stopped at one that offered maps, and looked over a hand-drawn map of Citadel to ascertain the shortest way to the Seneschal's Court.
The path divided where the statue of King Daeron the First sat astride his tall stone horse, his sword lifted toward Dorne. A seagull was perched on the Young Dragon's head, and two more on the blade. Sam took the left fork, which ran beside the river. At the Weeping Dock, he watched two acolytes help an old man into a boat for the short voyage to the Bloody Isle. A young mother climbed in after him, a babe not much older than Gilly's squalling in her arms. Beneath the dock, some cook's boys waded in the shallows, gathering frogs. A stream of pink-cheeked novices hurried by him toward the septry. I should have come here when I was their age, Sam thought. If I had run off and taken a false name, I could have disappeared amongst the other novices. Father could have pretended that Dickon was his only son. I doubt he would even have troubled to search for me, unless I took a mule to ride. Then he would have hunted me down, but only for the mule.

A Storm of Swords - Bran III

The Reeds exchanged a look. "How do you know that?" asked Jojen. "Have you been here before, my prince?"
"No. Old Nan told me. The holdfast has a golden crown, see?" He pointed across the lake. You could see patches of flaking gold paint up around the crenellations. "Queen Alysanne slept there, so they painted the merlons gold in her honor."

 

The difference being that what GQ Alysanne did was actually detrimental to the whole of Westeros in the long run. Her gold is flaking away in the north literally, and most likely symbolically as we will most likely continue to see in TWOW with the Free Folk, giants, wargs, etc and those possibly with Bran coming back through.

 

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On 1/11/2017 at 10:02 AM, A Bastard Brother said:

Amazing work. Nothing to add. Just want to follow for any updates.

Hey, thanks for dropping by. Glad you liked it. I am constantly finding little things on re-reads, mostly small connections now. If you ever have anything to add, just post it and I will credit it to you :cheers:

Even small things like today I added the fact that Davos was "stolen" away to White Harbor on the ship named the Merry Midwife... and Jon makes Val a midwife. Just a small connection to how Davos' story should carry back around to Jon and Val's and the North, with Rickon, of course.

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Adding this here to link to from the main post.

 I want to show the connection to Val and Dalla with amber in ASOIAF.

This subject made me remember that Dalla, Mance's "queen", wore amber. In real life, amber is considered the "gold of the north". It has been proposed that Dalla, and now Val, are Völva healers, as well as Free Folk style "queens", or those elevated in their society.

A Storm of Swords - Jon X

 "Are you a true king?" Jon asked suddenly.
"I've never had a crown on my head or sat my arse on a bloody throne, if that's what you're asking," Mance replied. "My birth is as low as a man's can get, no septon's ever smeared my head with oils, I don't own any castles, and my queen wears furs and amber, not silk and sapphires. I am my own champion, my own fool, and my own harpist. You don't become King-beyond-the-Wall because your father was. The free folk won't follow a name, and they don't care which brother was born first. They follow fighters. When I left the Shadow Tower there were five men making noises about how they might be the stuff of kings. Tormund was one, the Magnar another. The other three I slew, when they made it plain they'd sooner fight than follow."
 
Val tells Jon, "Should I have dressed in mail instead of wool and fur? These clothes were given to me by Dalla, I would sooner not get bloodstains all over them." Could Val have Dalla's amber as well?
 
Even if Val does not have Dalla's amber at the moment, and IF Val actually needs amber to heal Jon, there is plenty of amber at the Wall that Jon collected when he let the Free Folk through the wall and they paid homage to him (Jon thinks it is a toll, because he still knows nothing). Dalla's amber would have to be in with that lot if Val does not have it already.

A Dance with Dragons - Jon XI

"And this food will be paid for … how, if I may ask?"
With gold, from the Iron Bank of Braavos, Jon might have replied. Instead he said, "I have agreed that the free folk may keep their furs and pelts. They will need those for warmth when winter comes. All other wealth they must surrender. Gold and silver, amber, gemstones, carvings, anything of value. We will ship it all across the narrow sea to be sold in the Free Cities."
"All the wealth o' the wildlings," said The Norrey. "That should buy you a bushel o' barleycorn. Two bushels, might be."

A Dance with Dragons - Jon XII

Howd Wanderer swore his oath upon his sword, as nicked and pitted a piece of iron as Jon had ever seen. Devyn Sealskinner presented him with a sealskin hat, Harle the Huntsman with a bear-claw necklace. The warrior witch Morna removed her weirwood mask just long enough to kiss his gloved hand and swear to be his man or his woman, whichever he preferred. And on and on and on.
As they passed, each warrior stripped off his treasures and tossed them into one of the carts that the stewards had placed before the gate. Amber pendants, golden torques, jeweled daggers, silver brooches set with gemstones, bracelets, rings, niello cups and golden goblets, warhorns and drinking horns, a green jade comb, a necklace of freshwater pearls … all yielded up and noted down by Bowen Marsh. One man surrendered a shirt of silver scales that had surely been made for some great lord. Another produced a broken sword with three sapphires in the hilt.
And there were queerer things: a toy mammoth made of actual mammoth hair, an ivory phallus, a helm made from a unicorn's head, complete with horn. How much food such things would buy in the Free Cities, Jon Snow could not begin to say.
 

So, what else do we know of amber, the gold of the north???

  • Formed over 45 million years ago, Baltic Amber is an organic substance, a “fossil resin” produced by pine trees which grew in Northern Europe - from southern regions of the present day Scandinavia and nearby regions of the bed of the Baltic Sea.
    • So amber has a connection to trees, possibly symbolically like blood.
    • Baltic amber is of the sea... hmmm, this sounds familiar.
    • This amber is also comes from the same place as the Norse myths and legends. Another connection there.
  • Man's interest in amber’s properties date back to the Paleolithic Age. The exceptional smell of amber burning and the beauty of the nuggets washed up on the shores of the Baltic Sea.
    • The Paleo age could be the Dawn Age in ASOIAF, which has the Old Gods, First Men, CotF, and the eventual peace pact.
  • Over time, our interests have proven well founded in that the properties of Baltic amber are very beneficial to humans. Amber warms to the touch and exudes a nice, relaxing fragrance in the palm of your hand. It is also the only fossil resin that contains 3-8% succinic acid (mostly located in the amber’s surface layer), a powerful therapeutic substance with many applications for healing. Plants absorbed the amber resin and plant leavers were often used as an antibiotic to heal cuts and or in a plaster to dress wounds.
  • There are also a number of other fascinating facts about natural Baltic Amber – it floats in salt water but sinks in fresh water; its hardness measures 2.0-2.5 on the Mohs Hardness Scale; its density amounts to 0.96-1.096g/cm3.
    • I guess this could be why the wall is often described as salty, even though the ice supposedly came from a lake, and lakes are not salty. Jon will be saved by the healing power of Val, possibly using amber and the salt of the wall, or some combo.
  • When amber is touched with fire, it produces an aroma of burning pine.
    • I hate to self promote, but I did find a connection to Bran and Pinnochio and the fact that pine was the main ingredient. Mel sees Bran in the flames, so burning pine, and Jon may have that warg-death connection to Bran while Jon is "dead".
  • Also, amber electrifies negatively and it is still alive because its internal metamorphosis is still incomplete.
    • Uummmm, isn't this what we see happening with Jon right now while he is "dead"???? I could not have said this better myself.

So, by now you may be thinking, "Ok, Leech, but how does this play into the overall arc of the story?" Well, two things. First, we see another connection to Val in a "queenly" role as well as being a healer. Second, we see what "good" Queen Alysanne did in the past by cutting off magic and northern culture, in addition to "marking her territory" by the top of Queenscrown having been painted gold, which has little value in the north as far as ruling value goes.

A Storm of Swords - Bran III

The Reeds exchanged a look. "How do you know that?" asked Jojen. "Have you been here before, my prince?"
"No. Old Nan told me. The holdfast has a golden crown, see?" He pointed across the lake. You could see patches of flaking gold paint up around the crenellations. "Queen Alysanne slept there, so they painted the merlons gold in her honor."

A Clash of Kings - Catelyn I

Lord Hoster's smith had done his work well, and Robb's crown looked much as the other was said to have looked in the tales told of the Stark kings of old; an open circlet of hammered bronze incised with the runes of the First Men, surmounted by nine black iron spikes wrought in the shape of longswords. Of gold and silver and gemstones, it had none; bronze and iron were the metals of winter, dark and strong to fight against the cold.

A Dance with Dragons - Jon III

He is stone and she is flame. The king's eyes were blue bruises, sunk deep in a hollow face. He wore grey plate, a fur-trimmed cloak of cloth-of-gold flowing from his broad shoulders. His breastplate had a flaming heart inlaid above his own. Girding his brows was a red-gold crown with points like twisting flames. Val stood beside him, tall and fair. They had crowned her with a simple circlet of dark bronze, yet she looked more regal in bronze than Stannis did in gold. Her eyes were grey and fearless, unflinching. Beneath an ermine cloak, she wore white and gold. Her honey-blond hair had been done up in a thick braid that hung over her right shoulder to her waist. The chill in the air had put color in her cheek
Edited by The Fattest Leech
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Just gonna put this here to link to from the main post:

So we have Val acting as midwife, Dalla giving advice on war/battle to Mance, Dalla and Val both giving advice, or warnings, regarding magic, and Val singing to "Monster" just before she heads out to find Tormund and the others. Hmmm, what could they be instead? This does lend credence to the idea that Val and Dalla are based on Norse Völva.

Ok, are Val and Dalla typical spearwives, or, weapon wielding warrior women? George says otherwise.

  • Q: Fierce warrior women would not take birth lying down! They would be active, strong, and show how powerful they are while bringing forth new life.

GRRM: Well, point taken. I'll take a look at that book if it turns out that I need to describe another birth... especially if it's from the viewpoint of one of POV characters.

However, in my own defense, I should note that Dalla was not a "warrior woman" per se. She was from a warrior culture, yes; one that gave women the right, but not the obligation, to be fighters. Ygritte was a warrior woman, as was (most conspicuously) the fearsome Harma Dogshead. Dalla and Val were not.

Edited by The Fattest Leech
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Just gonna put this here so I can link to it from the main post in this thread.

While doing a little research for something else totally unrelated to this subject, I came across this little royal reminder that Wow, I never noticed that ;)

We see the connection to Val inheriting her queen sister Dalla's royal garb such as the white snow bear outfit, and possibly Dalla's royal amber jewels (maybe seen later). And the wisdom is passed on from sister to sister. Everyone thinks Val is a princess, although Jon says Dalla was a queen, so why not Val? Val has no problem standing up against Selyse, literally, because Val refused to kneel to Selyse and instead confronted her (all in main post).

So, I find it funny that Val, now wearing her snowy she-bear clothes and weirwood brooch who just returned on the horse Jon gave her, is now using this set of words (and visual clues) when dealing with Selyse and her men:

ADWD/Jon XI [Selyse has just summoned Val to her quarters]: For all her talk about wanting to be mistress of her seat, Selyse Baratheon seemed in no great haste to abandon the comforts of Castle Black for the shadows of the Nightfort. She kept guards, of course—four men posted at the door, two outside on the steps, two inside by the brazier. Commanding them was Ser Patrek of King's Mountain, clad in his knightly raiment of white and blue and silver, his cloak a spatter of five-pointed stars. When presented to Val, the knight sank to one knee to kiss her glove. "You are even lovelier than I was told, princess," he declared. "The queen has told me much and more of your beauty."

"How odd, when she has never seen me." Val patted Ser Patrek on the head. "Up with you now, ser kneeler. Up, up." She sounded as if she were talking to a dog.
It was all that Jon could do not to laugh. Stone-faced, he told the knight that they required audience with the queen. Ser Patrek sent one of the men-at-arms scrambling up the steps to inquire as to whether Her Grace would receive them. "The wolf stays here, though," Ser Patrek insisted.
 
Compare this to when the last royal party was in the north:
AGOT/Eddard II: The summons came in the hour before the dawn, when the world was still and grey.
Alyn shook him roughly from his dreams and Ned stumbled into the predawn chill, groggy from sleep, to find his horse saddled and the king already mounted. Robert wore thick brown gloves and a heavy fur cloak with a hood that covered his ears, and looked for all the world like a bear sitting a horse. "Up, Stark!" he roared. "Up, up! We have matters of state to discuss."
"By all means," Ned said. "Come inside, Your Grace." Alyn lifted the flap of the tent.

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One month without a single post in this thread is a long time so in order to resurrect it I will say something obvious that I have noticed.

In awoiaf we learn that when the Rhoynar came it wasn't just Nym who married a Westerosi, some of her people also married with Dornish people. In adwd that has already begun with the marriage between Alys and Sigorn. In this case Jon told Alys: 

Quote

Marriages and inheritance are matters for the king, my lady.

and he married her with one of the Free Folk.

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2 minutes ago, The Doctor's Consort said:

One month without a single post in this thread is a long time so in order to resurrect it I will say something obvious that I have noticed.

Hahaa. Thanks!

I do have a crackpot in mind that I have been thinking about for a while. Of course in this case it does involve Val, but more importantly it also shows another example of GRRM's often stated ideals of to make something stronger you have to put two different parts together.

When I get that idea up I will tag you.

2 minutes ago, The Doctor's Consort said:

In awoiaf we learn that when the Rhoynar came it wasn't just Nym who married a Westerosi, some of her people also married with Dornish people. In adwd that has already begun with the marriage between Alys and Sigorn. In this case Jon told Alys: 

and he married her with one of the Free Folk.

Exactly, this is the point. To make something stronger, you bring two different things together. That is a union.

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Ok, I am going to hijack my own thread to place a big ol'cracked pot right in the middle so we can all stare at it and poke it with sticks while we speculate the hell out of it. Here goes it:

Val is first and foremost a wildling princess. However, there are a few strange little things that Val says that seem to make her stand out from the rest of the free folk pack.

  1. "The maesters may believe what they wish. Ask a woods witch if you would know the truth. The grey death sleeps, only to wake again. The child is not clean!"
  2. Val pulled up the hood of her bearskin. The brown pelt was well salted with grey. "Before I go, one question. Did you kill Jarl, my lord?"
    • Keep this line in mind: The brown pelt was well salted with grey.
  3. Her use of proper dialogue such as, "my lord," and not, "m'lord."
  4. she would have turned men's heads in any court in the wide world.

How would Val know what a maester would believe? Why would she say, "my lord, " instead of the typical "m'lord," that is spoken by every other free folk person? Why the cloak color change?

... the milk thickens... (please read the main post to get this nerdy joke)

Now think back to this thought from Jon, "Val did not need to smile; she would have turned men's heads in any court in the wide world." Could this also be because she speaks the speak? Does Val also have a connection to the noble houses of Westeros below the wall?

Possibly. There is so much info that I just don't know where to start!

Enter House Mallister. (maybe) I am not making any claims to who fathered Val (know of only Mall men so far), but I want to compare Val to the Mallister's we know in both appearance and attitude and symbolism to see how it works out. Not to mention, according to the wiki, there two other Mallister men listed, but we do not have any info on them... yet.

  1. The Mallister's are of Seagard, as in sea-guard. The wall is compared in the book symbolically as being water-like and under the sea.
  2. The Mallister's are one of the most prominent houses in the Riverlands. After reading this thread, we all know how important the rivers were to the identity of Nymeria.
  3. The Mallister sigil is a silver eagle on indigo.
    • Jon has an eagle attack his face, and Ygritte protects him. After this happens, Jon still accepts the free folk as normal people worth saving and says as much to Janos Slynt when he returns to Castle Black.
    • When Stannis storms the wall, Mel takes credit for burning Varamyr's eagle, which in that instance is meant for her to show her false powers and "dominance" of R'hollor over the powers of the old gods.
    • Silver is the metal for healing in ASOIAF. Val is also described with silver features by Jon, and Val very well may heal Jon after his stabbings.
    • Rhaegar is said to have had dark indigo colored eyes. If RLJ is true, then there is that connection as well as a chance that Jon's dark eyes could be seen as indigo in another light... as Val's eye color also seemed grey in one instance and then blue in another.
      • AGOT/Bran: Jon's eyes were a grey so dark they seemed almost black, but there was little they did not see.
  4. The ASOIAF book name Mallister looks like it could be derived from the real world name McAllister, which apparently has about 50 spelling versions of that name. About McAllister:
    • The McAllister's come from Kintyre, a place that looks like this, a very aquatically rich area.
    • Their family seat is ancient
    • Their family motto is "By sea, By land." This basically reflects Robb's directions to Jason with the copy of the will he is carrying.
      • Mallister house words are "Above the Rest"... which is also links to the Norse gods theme.
  5. The Mallister looks:
    • Jason Mallister: Lord Jason is a tall and lean man.His brown hair is mixed with white and he has fierce blue-grey eyes. He has a gaunt, chiseled face with high cheekbones. Jason is known for his courtesy and his honor.Catelyn Stark thinks he is still handsome and rides like a man who fears nothing.
    • Denys Mallister: He has blue-grey eyes and a long white beard. He has lost almost all his hair and his face is deeply lined. He still has his teeth and is graceful in his movement. He clasps his Night's Watch cloak with a silver eagle. In his communication with other people Denys is courteous and well-spoken due to his high-born roots. He is also considered cautious and chivalrous.
    • Val: Her eyes are described as grey in one instance, and then blue later. We know Val speaks with more courtesy and learned sound. Also, Jon describes Val as, "Val looked the part and rode as if she had been born on horseback. A warrior princess, he decided,"
    • ADWD/Jon VIII: "Val pulled up the hood of her bearskin. The brown pelt was well salted with grey. "Before I go, one question. Did you kill Jarl, my lord?"
    • When Val returns from her Tormund quest, she is wearing all white, including her snow bear pelt. Is this part of a sigil change/wedding ritual for Val?
  6. Jason is ordered by Robb to send two Mallister longships into the Neck, one carrying Galbart Glover and the other Maege Mormont, to find Greywater Watch and inform Lord Howland Reed of Robb's plan to retake Moat Cailin.
    • Jon entrusts Val to find Tormund and the other free folk and to bring them back to the wall. Val does as she is asked and returns on time as promised.
  7. A major, major theme in many of George's works is the unity between two different things brought together to make something stronger. Ygritte tell sus to strengthen the clan a man steals a woman from afar/not of the same village. In GRRM's story Nightflyers, written 37 years ago, the main character is a woman named Melantha Jhirl, and she is basically an almost one-to-one Val prototype character. In that story she describes herself as "an improved model" because she is the result of two different scientists who brought the best traits out in humans and because of this she is "more efficient." Additionally, Melantha is a cultural xenobiologist. Actually, Nightflyers in total is a prototype of a Val and Jon union.
    • In ADWD, Jon thinks Val as more capable than his trained rangers of the Nights Watch, "Val could succeed where Black Jack Bulwer and his companions had failed."
  8. Compare this little detail with Val to the Mallisters:
    • ASOS/Jon VI: The Mallisters had a bone-deep mistrust of the ironborn, Jon knew.
    • ADWD/ Jon XI: [Val] white bearskin cloak pinned at the shoulder with a carved weirwood face, white tunic with bone fastenings.
      • Val patted the long bone knife on her hip.

I understand that the strongest parts of this crackpot could just be the physical attributes of Val compared to those in House Mallister, but I still feel it is worth considering.

And what does it all mean for the future of the story???
Well, Deny and Jason are both said to send ravens repeatedly to others in the story. Denys sends several to Jon at Castle Black, and Jason sends them out across the Riverlands for Robb's purposes. I theorize that IF the Mallister's are being shown to do this repeatedly in the story, then maybe Jason could have gotten Robb's will off to someone of importance. I still need to think on this part a bit, but I have a few ideas.

Another thing with Jason... I think his bending the knee at Seagard to Black Walder Frey is a big fat ruse to buy some time. I mean, when the author is explicit in details, then that is usually a signal to the readers to look deeper. The fact that we are told that Jason "bends the knee" just reflects loudly Val's words to Selyse (which in turn reflect historic Nymeria).

  • A Feast for Crows - Jaime VI

    "Making queens, Ser Ryman?" Jaime asked softly. "Stupid. As stupid as this business with Lord Edmure."
    "I gave the Blackfish warning. I told him Edmure would die unless the castle yielded. I had this gallows built, to show them that Ser Ryman Frey does not make idle threats. At Seagard my son Walder did the same with Patrek Mallister and Lord Jason bent the knee, but . . . the Blackfish is a cold man. He refused us, so . . ."
  • Val- "May I laugh when I kneel?"
  • Val- "Free folk do not kneel," Val told her.
 
So, to wrap this up. I am speculating that Val (and maybe Dalla) are at least half Mallister- half first men blood, maybe raised south of the wall and defected north (maybe for woods witch training?) and that is why Val tends to have different mannerisms and speech than other free folk. Mance did say that he found Dalla (and Val) as returned to the lands beyond the wall, but where exactly did he find them? South of the wall? The author left this info curiously vague.
 
This would also explain how Val knows what a maester would think about curing greyscale, and how she knows what a woods witch knows to be actually correct. She has experience with both.
 
Val has a reason for being both learned sounding in speech, and physically able to be seen in any court in the world, everyone insists she is a princess, and yet also lonely, lovely and lethal, and more capable of surviving alone in tough terrain north of the wall.
 
 
Val is the "improved model" of both north and south. (Please read Nightflyers to get this nerdy joke.)
 

 

 
Edited by The Fattest Leech
clarified a word

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28 minutes ago, The Fattest Leech said:

Ok, I am going to hijack my own thread to place a big ol'cracked pot right in the middle so we can all stare at it and poke it with sticks while we speculate the hell out of it. Here goes it:

There are two strange little things that Val says that seem to make her stand out from the rest of the free folk pack.

  1. "The maesters may believe what they wish. Ask a woods witch if you would know the truth. The grey death sleeps, only to wake again. The child is not clean!"
  2. Val pulled up the hood of her bearskin. The brown pelt was well salted with grey. "Before I go, one question. Did you kill Jarl, my lord?"
    • Keep this line in mind: The brown pelt was well salted with grey.

How would Val know what a maester would believe? Why would she say, "my lord, " instead of the typical "m'lord," that is spoken by every other free folk person?

... the milk thickens... (please read the main post to get this nerdy joke)

Now think back to this thought from Jon, "Val did not need to smile; she would have turned men's heads in any court in the wide world." Could this also be because she speaks the speak? Does Val also have a connection to the noble houses of Westeros below the wall?

Possibly. There is so much info that I just don't know where to start!

Enter House Mallister. (maybe) I am not making any claims to who fathered Val (know of only Mall men so far), but I want to compare Val to the Mallister's we know in both appearance and attitude and symbolism to see how it works out. Not to mention, according to the wiki, there two other Mallister men listed, but we do not have any info on them... yet.

  1. The Mallister's are of Seagard, as in sea-guard. The wall is compared in the book symbolically as being water-like and under the sea.
  2. The Mallister's are one of the most prominent houses in the Riverlands. After reading this thread, we all know how important the rivers were to the identity of Nymeria.
  3. The Mallister sigil is a silver eagle on indigo.
    • Jon has an eagle attack his face, and Ygritte protects him. After this happens, Jon still accepts the free folk as normal people worth saving and says as much to Janos Slynt when he returns to Castle Black.
    • When Stannis storms the wall, Mel takes credit for burning Varamyr's eagle, which in that instance is meant for her to show her false powers and "dominance" of R'hollor over the powers of the old gods.
    • Silver is the metal for healing in ASOIAF. Val is also described with silver features by Jon, and Val very well may heal Jon after his stabbings.
    • Rhaegar is said to have had dark indigo colored eyes. If RLJ is true, then there is that connection as well as a chance that Jon's dark eyes could be seen as indigo in another light... as Val's eye color also seemed grey in one instance and then blue in another.
      • AGOT/Bran: Jon's eyes were a grey so dark they seemed almost black, but there was little they did not see.
  4. The ASOIAF book name Mallister looks like it could be derived from the real world name McAllister, which apparently has about 50 spelling versions of that name. About McAllister:
    • The McAllister's come from Kintyre, a place that looks like this, a very aquatically rich area.
    • Their family seat is ancient
    • Their family motto is "By sea, By land." This basically reflects Robb's directions to Jason with the copy of the will he is carrying.
  5. The Mallister looks:
    • Jason Mallister: Lord Jason is a tall and lean man.His brown hair is mixed with white and he has fierce blue-grey eyes. He has a gaunt, chiseled face with high cheekbones. Jason is known for his courtesy and his honor.Catelyn Stark thinks he is still handsome and rides like a man who fears nothing.
    • Denys Mallister: He has blue-grey eyes and a long white beard. He has lost almost all his hair and his face is deeply lined. He still has his teeth and is graceful in his movement. He clasps his Night's Watch cloak with a silver eagle. In his communication with other people Denys is courteous and well-spoken due to his high-born roots. He is also considered cautious and chivalrous.
    • Val: Her eyes are described as grey in one instance, and then blue later. We know Val speaks with more courtesy and learned sound. Also, Jon describes Val as, "Val looked the part and rode as if she had been born on horseback. A warrior princess, he decided,"
    • ADWD/Jon VIII: "Val pulled up the hood of her bearskin. The brown pelt was well salted with grey. "Before I go, one question. Did you kill Jarl, my lord?"
    • When Val returns from her Tormund quest, she is wearing all white, including her snow bear pelt.
  6. Jason is ordered by Robb to send two Mallister longships into the Neck, one carrying Galbart Glover and the other Maege Mormont, to find Greywater Watch and inform Lord Howland Reed of Robb's plan to retake Moat Cailin.
    • Jon entrusts Val to find Tormund and the other free folk and to bring them back to the wall. Val does as she is asked and returns on time as promised.
  7. A major, major theme in many of George's works is the unity between two different things brought together to make something stronger. Ygritte tell sus to strengthen the clan a man steals a woman from afar/not of the same village. In GRRM's story Nightflyers, written 37 years ago, the main character is a woman named Melantha Jhirl, and she is basically an almost one-to-one Val prototype character. In that story she describes herself as "an improved model" because she is the result of two different scientists and because of this she is "more efficient." Actually, Nightflyers in total is a prototype of a Val and Jon union.
    • In ADWD, Jon thinks Val as more capable than his trained rangers of the Nights Watch, "Val could succeed where Black Jack Bulwer and his companions had failed."

I understand that the strongest parts of this crackpot could just be the physical attributes of Val compared to those in House Mallister, but I still feel it is worth considering.

And what does it all mean for the future of the story???
Well, Deny and Jason are both said to send ravens repeatedly to others in the story. Denys sends several to Jon at Castle Black, and Jason sends them out across the Riverlands for Robb's purposes. I theorize that IF the Mallister's are being shown to do this repeatedly in the story, then maybe Jason could have gotten Robb's will off to someone of importance. I still need to think on this part a bit, but I have a few ideas.

Another thing with Jason... I think his bending the knee at Seagard to Black Walder Frey is a big fat ruse to buy some time. I mean, when the author is explicit in details, then that is usually a signal to the readers to look deeper. The fact that we are told that Jason "bends the knee" just reflects loudly Val's words to Selyse (which in turn reflect historic Nymeria).

  • A Feast for Crows - Jaime VI

    "Making queens, Ser Ryman?" Jaime asked softly. "Stupid. As stupid as this business with Lord Edmure."
    "I gave the Blackfish warning. I told him Edmure would die unless the castle yielded. I had this gallows built, to show them that Ser Ryman Frey does not make idle threats. At Seagard my son Walder did the same with Patrek Mallister and Lord Jason bent the knee, but . . . the Blackfish is a cold man. He refused us, so . . ."
  • Val- "May I laugh when I kneel?"
  • Val- "Free folk do not kneel," Val told her.
 
So, to wrap this up. I am speculating that Val (and maybe Dalla) are at least half Mallister, maybe raised south of the wall and defected north (maybe for woods witch training?) and that is why Val tends to have different mannerisms and speech than other free folk. Mance did say that he found Dalla (and Val) as returned to the lands beyond the wall, but where exactly did he find them? South of the wall? The author left this info curiously vague.
 
This would also explain how Val knows what a maester would think about curing greyscale, and how she knows what a woods witch knows to be actually correct. She has experience with both.
 
Val has a reason for being both learned sounding in speech, and physically able to be seen in any court in the world, everyone insists she is a princess, and yet also lonely, lovely and lethal, and more capable of surviving alone in tough terrain north of the wall.
 
 
Val is the "improved model" of both north and south.

Interesting notions... do we know how long Denys Mallister has been on the Wall? Maybe could have fathered her on a Wildling who brought her back to the Wall in a parallel to Mance's backstory. However he can't keep a girl on the Wall so sends it to his nephew?

I have always believed there is more to Val than meets to eye and this is an interesting new direction.

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3 minutes ago, Lord Wraith said:

Interesting notions... do we know how long Denys Mallister has been on the Wall? Maybe could have fathered her on a Wildling who brought her back to the Wall in a parallel to Mance's backstory. However he can't keep a girl on the Wall so sends it to his nephew?

I have always believed there is more to Val than meets to eye and this is an interesting new direction.

Denys is a strange one in this theory. Unfortunately, as soon as I went to post this, the damned quoter did something really weird ans deleted just half the post and I had to try and remember what I had written :angry: Anyway, I did talk a little more about Denys.

IF this is in anyway true, then maybe it would help calm the rage Denys appears to have towards the free folk. I don't think the Weeper is going to help anytime soon, so who knows in this case.

However, I did also think that Denys could have fathered a child on a free folk filly. We know the boys at Castle Black go to Mole's Town and the uppers at CB just turn a blind eye. Maybe something similar happens at Shadow Tower?

Denys has been at Shadow Tower for 33 years. Val is suspected to be around 19-22 (based on different book sources).

According to the wiki, Denys has an unknown/unnamed brother who is Jason's father. And in turn, Jason has a brother, Jeffory Mallsiter, who died in King's Landing when he went with Brandon to face the accusations of treason. Jeffory Mallister was killed then.

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