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The Fattest Leech

Nymeria is poised to return

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On 3/31/2018 at 5:48 PM, kissdbyfire said:

I'm not sure I follow... How, where, which war, and defeated by whom?

Again, sorry, but I have no idea where this is coming from... Can you provide something, anything, that supports this claim? 

For the most part what we see is a grudging respect for the Starks. And we even get things like this:

ADwD Theon I

Even the godswood was turning white. A film of ice had formed upon the pool beneath the heart tree, and the face carved into its pale trunk had grown a mustache of little icicles. At this hour they could not hope to have the old gods to themselves. Rowan pulled Theon away from the northmen praying before the tree, to a secluded spot back by the barracks wall, beside a pool of warm mud that stank of rotten eggs. Even the mud was icing up about the edges, Theon saw. "Winter is coming …"

Rowan gave him a hard look. "You have no right to mouth Lord Eddard's words. Not you. Not ever. After what you did—"

 

Can you please elaborate a bit? 

Just stopping by to let you know that I'm not ignoring you. I'm gathering the relevant passages together to support my thoughts. It may take me a bit yet.

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On 4/1/2018 at 2:01 PM, The Fattest Leech said:

That is interesting because in GRRM's story And Seven Times Never Kill Man, he starts the story off with quote from part of a poem by Kipling:

Ye may kill for yourselves, and your mates, and your cubs as they need, and ye can;
But kill not for pleasure of killing, and seven times never kill Man!
—Rudyard Kipling

Light spoilers past this point:

.

.

.

That story is a great example of fire .vs. water/ice story about expansionism by force, and in doing so, repressing and displacing the native peoples. They story opens with a moral discussion that attempts to identify good .vs. evil. This story gives us the best look at the antagonist Steel Angels, which translates to Targagryens/dragons + Andals/Faith of 7 mix, and a mix of the CotF + Free Folk in the tribal characters called the Jaenshi. In this story the main protagonist is an intermediary that tries to help save Jaenshi and his name is Arik NeKrol. This guy is very much like a Jon protoype, and he is even called a "first man" that is sent to range/trade on this world for art (among a few other parallels). NeKrol's other human companion is a Val*lite* prototype names Jannis Ryther, who like Jon does to Val, sends her on a mission back to the other knowledgeable humans(condensing here). Anyway, fire happens, the Jaenshi are pushed out, Arik and Jannis learn the truth of the Jaenshi, and you see these Jaenshi are not the horrible creatures that the Steel Angels make them out to be (even using the same type of descriptions as those south of the wall use to describe the free folk).

A beginning section to that story, and secret-eyed for length :

  Reveal hidden contents

"Do you believe in evil?" Arik neKrol asked Jannis Ryther as they looked down on the City of the Steel Angels from the crest of a nearby hill. Anger was written across every line of his flat yellow-brown face, as he squatted among the broken shards of what once had been a Jaenshi worship pyramid.
"Evil?" Ryther murmured in a distracted way. Her eyes never left the redstone walls below, where the dark bodies of the children were outlined starkly. The sun was going down, the fat red globe that the Steel Angels called the Heart of Bakkalon, and the valley beneath them seemed to swim in bloody mists.
"Evil," neKrol repeated. The trader was a short, pudgy man, his features decidedly mongoloid except for the flame-red hair that fell nearly to his waist. "It is a religious concept, and I am not a religious man. Long ago, when I was a very child growing up on ai-Emerel, I decided that there was no good or evil, only different ways of thinking." His small, soft hands felt around in the dust until he had a large, jagged shard that filled his fist. He stood and offered it to Ryther. "The Steel Angels have made me believe in evil again," he said.

It is a really good story, and if you have not had a chance to read I definitely recommend it. It is a novelette, which helps slow readers like me that take forever to finish a book.

I think you got my point earlier, but I'll rephrase to make sure. I understand what you're saying about GRRMs feelings about immigrants and how they're just people like anyone else. The wildlings are more like Native Americans pushed out of their territories and confined to a reservation. I'm not saying anything that would be in conflict with his feelings on the matter, but what if the immigrants/Natives were forced out of their homes and exiled for many years. Would they try to organize and plot a way to get it all back? 

ASOIAF is written in such a way that we sympathize with the Starks, but just as the Kippling says, every side is right. The wildlings have their side of the story. Ygritte says this:

  “You know nothing, Jon Snow. Daughters are taken, not wives. You’re the ones who steal. You took the whole world, and built the Wall t’ keep the free folk out.” 

  “Did we?” Sometimes Jon forgot how wild she was, and then she would remind him. “How did that happen?” 

  “The gods made the earth for all men t’ share. Only when the kings come with their crowns and steel swords, they claimed it was all theirs. My trees, they said, you can’t eat them apples. My stream, you can’t fish here. My wood, you’re not t’ hunt. My earth, my water, my castle, my daughter, keep your hands away or I’ll chop ’em off, but maybe if you kneel t’ me I’ll let you have a sniff. You call us thieves, but at least a thief has t’ be brave and clever and quick. A kneeler only has t’ kneel.”

 
Edited by Feather Crystal

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On 3/31/2018 at 5:48 PM, kissdbyfire said:

I'm not sure I follow... How, where, which war, and defeated by whom?

Again, sorry, but I have no idea where this is coming from... Can you provide something, anything, that supports this claim? 

For the most part what we see is a grudging respect for the Starks. And we even get things like this:

ADwD Theon I

Even the godswood was turning white. A film of ice had formed upon the pool beneath the heart tree, and the face carved into its pale trunk had grown a mustache of little icicles. At this hour they could not hope to have the old gods to themselves. Rowan pulled Theon away from the northmen praying before the tree, to a secluded spot back by the barracks wall, beside a pool of warm mud that stank of rotten eggs. Even the mud was icing up about the edges, Theon saw. "Winter is coming …"

Rowan gave him a hard look. "You have no right to mouth Lord Eddard's words. Not you. Not ever. After what you did—"

 

Can you please elaborate a bit? 

OK, I've gathered up a few passages to support the following thoughts:

1) The wildlings believe the Wall was built to keep them contained.

2) "Jon Snow" is an evil name.

3) Wildlings also hate "Starks".

4) The wildlings are the Others, and the creators of the white walkers.

5) Mance is a divine predator - they feel their cause is righteous - akin to Native Americans breaking free of the reservation and taking back their territories.

6) They plan to rise up after they're allowed through the Wall.

7) The wildlings are behind Jon's stabbing/mutiny.

8) Just like Old Nan says, they hate iron.

 

Ygritte says “kneelers” are thieves 

  The ground was littered with pine needles and blown leaves, a carpet of green and brown still damp from the recent rains. It squished beneath their feet. Huge bare oaks, tall sentinels, and hosts of soldier pines stood all around them. On a hill above them was another roundtower, ancient and empty, thick green moss crawling up its side almost to the summit. “Who built that, all of stone like that?” Ygritte asked him. “Some king?” 

  “No. Just the men who used to live here.” 

  “What happened to them?”   

  “They died or went away.” Brandon’s Gift had been farmed for thousands of years, but as the Watch dwindled there were fewer hands to plow the fields, tend the bees, and plant the orchards, so the wild had reclaimed many a field and hall. In the New Gift there had been villages and holdfasts whose taxes, rendered in goods and labor, helped feed and clothe the black brothers. But those were largely gone as well. 

  “They were fools to leave such a castle,” said Ygritte. 

  “It’s only a towerhouse. Some little lordling lived there once, with his family and a few sworn men. When raiders came he would light a beacon from the roof. Winterfell has towers three times the size of that.” 

  She looked as if she thought he was making that up. “How could men build so high, with no giants to lift the stones?” 

  In legend, Brandon the Builder had used giants to help raise Winterfell, but Jon did not want to confuse the issue. “Men can build a lot higher than this. In Oldtown there’s a tower taller than the Wall.” He could tell she did not believe him.

<snip>

  “This land belongs to the Watch,” Jon said. 

  Her nostrils flared. “No one lives here.” 

  “Your raiders drove them off.”

  “They were cowards, then. If they wanted the land they should have stayed and fought.” 

  “Maybe they were tired of fighting. Tired of barring their doors every night and wondering if Rattleshirt or someone like him would break them down to carry off their wives. Tired of having their harvests stolen, and any valuables they might have. It’s easier to move beyond the reach of raiders.” But if the Wall should fail, all the north will lie within the reach of raiders. 

  “You know nothing, Jon Snow. Daughters are taken, not wives. You’re the ones who steal. You took the whole world, and built the Wall t’ keep the free folk out.” 

  “Did we?” Sometimes Jon forgot how wild she was, and then she would remind him. “How did that happen?” 

  “The gods made the earth for all men t’ share. Only when the kings come with their crowns and steel swords, they claimed it was all theirs. My trees, they said, you can’t eat them apples. My stream, you can’t fish here. My wood, you’re not t’ hunt. My earth, my water, my castle, my daughter, keep your hands away or I’ll chop ’em off, but maybe if you kneel t’ me I’ll let you have a sniff. You call us thieves, but at least a thief has t’ be brave and clever and quick. A kneeler only has t’ kneel.”

<snip>

“And men can’t own the land no more’n they can own the sea or the sky. You kneelers think you do, but Mance is going t’ show you different.”

 

Wildlings choose their leaders and they won’t kneel:

  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.

  “You can kill your enemies,” Jon said bluntly, “but can you rule your friends? If we let your people pass, are you strong enough to make them keep the king’s peace and obey the laws?” 

  “Whose laws? The laws of Winterfell and King’s Landing?” Mance laughed. “When we want laws we’ll make our own. You can keep your king’s justice too, and your king’s taxes. I’m offering you the horn, not our freedom. We will not kneel to you.”

 

If you force the wildlings to kneel they will rise up at the first chance:

  “Free folk do not kneel,” Val told her. 

  “Then they must be knelt,” the queen declared.   

  “Do that, Your Grace, and we will rise again at the first chance,” Val promised. “Rise with blades in hand.”

 

Jon Snow and Starks are “evil” and “disliked”: 

  Sheathing his dirk, he wrenched Longclaw free from the body of the man he’d killed. “You are my captive, Ygritte.” 

  “I gave you my name.” 

  “I’m Jon Snow.”

  She flinched. “An evil name.” 

  “A bastard name,” he said. “My father was Lord Eddard Stark of Winterfell.”

 

Why is “Jon Snow” an evil name? It cannot be because he’s a bastard, and it cannot be because he’s a Stark, because Ygritte reacted to “Jon Snow”. Was there a historical Jon Snow that had something to do with the wildlings being forced beyond the Wall?

  Mance Rayder laughed. “As you wish. Jon Snow, before you stands Tormund Giantsbane, Tall-talker, Horn-blower, and Breaker of Ice. And here also Tormund Thunderfist, Husband to Bears, the Mead-king of Ruddy Hall, Speaker to Gods and Father of Hosts.” 

  “That sounds more like me,” said Tormund. “Well met, Jon Snow. I am fond o’ wargs, as it happens, though not o’ Starks.”

 

Bastards are accepted in wildling society - so why is Jon Snow’s name “evil”?

  “Do you mislike the girl?” Tormund asked him as they passed another twenty mammoths, these bearing wildlings in tall wooden towers instead of giants. 

  “No, but I . . .” What can I say that he will believe? “I am still too young to wed.” 

  “Wed?” Tormund laughed. “Who spoke of wedding? In the south, must a man wed every girl he beds?” 

  Jon could feel himself turning red again. “She spoke for me when Rattleshirt would have killed me. I would not dishonor her.” “You are a free man now, and Ygritte is a free woman. What dishonor if you lay together?” 

  “I might get her with child.” 

  “Aye, I’d hope so. A strong son or a lively laughing girl kissed by fire, and where’s the harm in that?” 

  Words failed him for a moment. “The boy . . . the child would be a bastard.”

  “Are bastards weaker than other children? More sickly, more like to fail?” 

  “No, but—”   

  “You’re bastard-born yourself. And if Ygritte does not want a child, she will go to some woods witch and drink a cup o’ moon tea. You do not come into it, once the seed is planted.” 

  “I will not father a bastard.”

  Tormund shook his shaggy head. “What fools you kneelers be….

 

Evidence that Wildlings are the Others

The Halfhand had suspected that the wildlings had gone up into the bleak and barren Frostfangs in search of some weapon, some power, some fell sorcery with which to break the Wall . . .

  Most of the column was out of the foothills now, oozing down along the west bank of the Milkwater like honey on a cold winter’s morning, following the course of the river into the heart of the haunted forest. (The wildlings were following the path the white walkers and wights took to attack the Fist.)

The Last of the Giants song:

“Ooooooh, I am the last of the giants, 

my people are gone from the earth.

The last of the great mountain giants, 

who ruled all the world at my birth,

Oh, the smallfolk have stolen my forests, 

they’ve stolen my rivers and hills.

And they’ve built a great wall through my valleys

and fished all the fish from my rills,”

In stone halls they burn their great fires, 

In stone halls they forge their sharp spears. 

Whilst I walk alone in the mountains, 

with no true companion but tears. 

They hunt me with dogs in the daylight, 

they hunt me with torches by night. 

For these men who are small can never stand tall, 

whilst giants still walk in the light. 

Oooooooh, I am the LAST of the giants, 

so learn well the words of my song. 

For when I am gone the singing will fade, 

and the silence shall last long and long.

 

After the song:

  “Why are you weeping?” Jon asked. “It was only a song. There are hundreds of giants, I’ve just seen them.” 

  “Oh, hundreds,” she said furiously. “You know nothing, Jon Snow. You— JON!” 

 

After Jon’s careless words is when he’s attacked:

  Jon turned at the sudden sound of wings. Blue-grey feathers filled his eyes, as sharp talons buried themselves in his face. Red pain lanced through him sudden and fierce as pinions beat round his head. He saw the beak, but there was no time to get a hand up or reach for a weapon. Jon reeled backward, hisfoot lost the stirrup, his garron broke in panic, and then he was falling. And still the eagle clung to his face, its talons tearing at him as it flapped and shrieked and pecked. The world turned upside down in a chaos of feathers and horseflesh and blood, and then the ground came up to smash him. 

  The next he knew, he was on his face with the taste of mud and blood in his mouth and Ygritte kneeling over him protectively, a bone dagger in her hand. He could still hear wings, though the eagle was not in sight. Half his world was black. “My eye,” he said in sudden panic, raising a hand to his face. 

  “It’s only blood, Jon Snow. He missed the eye, just ripped your skin up some.” 

  His face was throbbing. Tormund stood over them bellowing, he saw from his right eye as he rubbed blood from his left. Then there were hoofbeats, shouts, and the clacking of old dry bones. 

  “Bag o’ Bones,” roared Tormund, “call off your hellcrow!” 

  “There’s your hellcrow!” Rattleshirt pointed at Jon. “Bleeding in the mud like a faithless dog!” The eagle came flapping down to land atop the broken giant’s skull that served him for his helm. “I’m here for him.” 

  “Come take him then,” said Tormund, “but best come with sword in hand, for that’s where you’ll find mine. Might be I’ll boil your bones, and use your skull to piss in. Har!” 

  “Once I prick you and let the air out, you’ll shrink down smaller’n that girl. Stand aside, or Mance will hear o’ this.” 

  Ygritte stood. “What, is it Mance who wants him?” 

  “I said so, didn’t I? Get him up on those black feet.” 

  Tormund frowned down at Jon. “Best go, if it’s the Mance who’s wanting you.” 

  Ygritte helped pull him up. “He’s bleeding like a butchered boar. Look what Orell did t’ his sweet face.” 

  Can a bird hate? Jon had slain the wilding Orell, but some part of the man remained within the eagle. The golden eyes looked out on him with cold malevolence. “I’ll come,” he said. The blood kept running down into his right eye, and his cheek was a blaze of pain. When he touched it his black gloves came away stained with red. “Let me catch my garron.” It was not the horse he wanted so much as Ghost, but the direwolf was nowhere to be seen. He could be leagues away by now, ripping out the throat of some elk. Perhaps that was just as well.

 

Rattleshirt had been sent by Mance to bring him to where he was - which was at the top of the Fist of the First Men the day after the Nights Watch was attacked. As they drew nearer the snow was falling faster, the drifts were deeper, the wind was colder, and night was falling. All signs that white walkers were in the area. Jon could see the great hill even through the blowing snow - The Fist of the First Men. Jon noted that the wildlings were crawling over the dead garrons like flies, stripping them of saddles, bridles, packs, and armor, and hacking them apart with stone axes.  They were even prying horseshoes from their hooves. There were ravens flapping from one dead horse to the next and Jon wondered if they were Nights Watch ravens. Mance was at the top of the hill. Under his black wool and red silk he wore black ringmail and shaggy fur breeches, and on his head was a great bronze-and-iron helm with raven wings at either temple. Is Mance "Ossa Ravenhead", a Viking warrior god of wisdom and strength? Wearing a winged helmet is commonly used to depict Celts, but the shaggy fur breeches imply he’s wearing a ritual costume that projects the wearer’s intention to become a divine predator.

 

Mance blames Jon for the attack:

“You should never have lied to me, Jon Snow,” said Mance.

  “The Old Bear commanded,” said Jon. “This place was high and strong, and he made it stronger. He dug pits and planted stakes, laid up food and water. He was ready for . . .” 

  “. . . me?” finished Mance Rayder.

 <snip>  

…when the dead walk, walls and stakes and swords mean nothing. You cannot fight the dead, Jon Snow. No man knows that half so well as me.”

 

When Stannis was riding to attack - Mance could hear his warhorn. Jon remembered Mance’s words about the dead walking, and Varamyr said something was coming from the east:

  Harma scowled. “East? The wights should be behind us.”

How would Harma know where the wights were? 

 

When they finally realized that the soldiers weren’t from Castle Black nor Eastwatch they were upset by the iron:

  “Mance!” the shout came. It was a scout, bursting from the trees on a lathered horse. “Mance, there’s more, they’re all around us, iron men, iron, a host of iron men.”

Edited by Feather Crystal

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Feather Crystal said:

OK, I've gathered up a few passages to support the following thoughts:

Hey there. It is very late here and I have just a minute before I head to bed but there were a few things that I thought of straight away that I did not want to forget later, and I do not want to jump too far in front of @kissdbyfire responding either.

 

Quote

 

Ygritte says “kneelers” are thieves 

  The ground was littered with pine needles and blown leaves, a carpet of green and brown still damp from the recent rains. It squished beneath their feet. Huge bare oaks, tall sentinels, and hosts of soldier pines stood all around them. On a hill above them was another roundtower, ancient and empty, thick green moss crawling up its side almost to the summit. “Who built that, all of stone like that?” Ygritte asked him. “Some king?” 

  “No. Just the men who used to live here.” 

  “What happened to them?”   

  “They died or went away.” Brandon’s Gift had been farmed for thousands of years, but as the Watch dwindled there were fewer hands to plow the fields, tend the bees, and plant the orchards, so the wild had reclaimed many a field and hall. In the New Gift there had been villages and holdfasts whose taxes, rendered in goods and labor, helped feed and clothe the black brothers. But those were largely gone as well. 

  “They were fools to leave such a castle,” said Ygritte. 

  “It’s only a towerhouse. Some little lordling lived there once, with his family and a few sworn men. When raiders came he would light a beacon from the roof. Winterfell has towers three times the size of that.” 

  She looked as if she thought he was making that up. “How could men build so high, with no giants to lift the stones?” 

  In legend, Brandon the Builder had used giants to help raise Winterfell, but Jon did not want to confuse the issue. “Men can build a lot higher than this. In Oldtown there’s a tower taller than the Wall.” He could tell she did not believe him.

<snip>

  “This land belongs to the Watch,” Jon said. 

  Her nostrils flared. “No one lives here.” 

  “Your raiders drove them off.”

  “They were cowards, then. If they wanted the land they should have stayed and fought.” 

  “Maybe they were tired of fighting. Tired of barring their doors every night and wondering if Rattleshirt or someone like him would break them down to carry off their wives. Tired of having their harvests stolen, and any valuables they might have. It’s easier to move beyond the reach of raiders.” But if the Wall should fail, all the north will lie within the reach of raiders. 

  “You know nothing, Jon Snow. Daughters are taken, not wives. You’re the ones who steal. You took the whole world, and built the Wall t’ keep the free folk out.” 

  “Did we?” Sometimes Jon forgot how wild she was, and then she would remind him. “How did that happen?” 

  “The gods made the earth for all men t’ share. Only when the kings come with their crowns and steel swords, they claimed it was all theirs. My trees, they said, you can’t eat them apples. My stream, you can’t fish here. My wood, you’re not t’ hunt. My earth, my water, my castle, my daughter, keep your hands away or I’ll chop ’em off, but maybe if you kneel t’ me I’ll let you have a sniff. You call us thieves, but at least a thief has t’ be brave and clever and quick. A kneeler only has t’ kneel.”

<snip>

“And men can’t own the land no more’n they can own the sea or the sky. You kneelers think you do, but Mance is going t’ show you different.”

 

Wildlings choose their leaders and they won’t kneel:

  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.

  “You can kill your enemies,” Jon said bluntly, “but can you rule your friends? If we let your people pass, are you strong enough to make them keep the king’s peace and obey the laws?” 

  “Whose laws? The laws of Winterfell and King’s Landing?” Mance laughed. “When we want laws we’ll make our own. You can keep your king’s justice too, and your king’s taxes. I’m offering you the horn, not our freedom. We will not kneel to you.”

 

If you force the wildlings to kneel they will rise up at the first chance:

  “Free folk do not kneel,” Val told her. 

  “Then they must be knelt,” the queen declared.   

  “Do that, Your Grace, and we will rise again at the first chance,” Val promised. “Rise with blades in hand.”

 

Ok, this was all covered in the main post. This is a repeat of the past Dornish against the fire dragons, which is now primarily Mel and Selyse, which is why Val is saying that line directly to the fiery Selyse in this case.

And this supports what Tormund says, and then Jon later realizes that the wall was not built to keep the free folk out. The men of the Night's Watch have forgotten their true purpose.

Also, the free folk are kneeling to Jon (and Val) at different times. I can't think of them all at the mo', but Gilly is the example that comes to mind, as is Borroq and the spearmen with him.

A Dance with Dragons - Jon XII

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.
"Brother," Borroq said.
"You'd best go on. We are about to close the gate."
Quote

 

 

Jon Snow and Starks are “evil” and “disliked”: 

  Sheathing his dirk, he wrenched Longclaw free from the body of the man he’d killed. “You are my captive, Ygritte.” 

  “I gave you my name.” 

  “I’m Jon Snow.”

  She flinched. “An evil name.” 

  “A bastard name,” he said. “My father was Lord Eddard Stark of Winterfell.”

 

A man must have a name.

Being a bastard name is probably the more important part here. It is a reflection of Andal influence more like, and we know the Andals and the free folk, northern magics, northern culture did not mix. The idea that bastards are worth less than other people is ridiculous in the free folk domain.

Quote

 

 

Why is “Jon Snow” an evil name? It cannot be because he’s a bastard, and it cannot be because he’s a Stark, because Ygritte reacted to “Jon Snow”. Was there a historical Jon Snow that had something to do with the wildlings being forced beyond the Wall?

 

 

So far we do not have a historical Jon Snow to draw this comparison on. Just the Andal idea of bastards.

Quote

 

  Mance Rayder laughed. “As you wish. Jon Snow, before you stands Tormund Giantsbane, Tall-talker, Horn-blower, and Breaker of Ice. And here also Tormund Thunderfist, Husband to Bears, the Mead-king of Ruddy Hall, Speaker to Gods and Father of Hosts.” 

  “That sounds more like me,” said Tormund. “Well met, Jon Snow. I am fond o’ wargs, as it happens, though not o’ Starks.”

 

Where is Benjen? And yeah, way, way back in history things weren't all too great for everyone and started to go downhill when the purpose of the Night's Watch was forgotten and not-so-good Queen Alysanne interfered with the magics and cultures of the north <<< but that is a topic for another thread because it is also a lot of information.

Quote

 

 

Bastards are accepted in wildling society - so why is Jon Snow’s name “evil”?

  “Do you mislike the girl?” Tormund asked him as they passed another twenty mammoths, these bearing wildlings in tall wooden towers instead of giants. 

  “No, but I . . .” What can I say that he will believe? “I am still too young to wed.” 

  “Wed?” Tormund laughed. “Who spoke of wedding? In the south, must a man wed every girl he beds?” 

  Jon could feel himself turning red again. “She spoke for me when Rattleshirt would have killed me. I would not dishonor her.” “You are a free man now, and Ygritte is a free woman. What dishonor if you lay together?” 

  “I might get her with child.” 

  “Aye, I’d hope so. A strong son or a lively laughing girl kissed by fire, and where’s the harm in that?” 

  Words failed him for a moment. “The boy . . . the child would be a bastard.”

  “Are bastards weaker than other children? More sickly, more like to fail?” 

  “No, but—”   

  “You’re bastard-born yourself. And if Ygritte does not want a child, she will go to some woods witch and drink a cup o’ moon tea. You do not come into it, once the seed is planted.” 

  “I will not father a bastard.”

  Tormund shook his shaggy head. “What fools you kneelers be….

 

Just the quote I was going to use. Bastards are treated differently in the north, and especially north of the Wall. This changed when the Andals arrived and tried to "civilize" things. I was just re-listening to a chapter in the World book that really shows this. I will quote it later.

Also what you quoted above:

  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.

 

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Rattleshirt had been sent by Mance to bring him to where he was - which was at the top of the Fist of the First Men the day after the Nights Watch was attacked. As they drew nearer the snow was falling faster, the drifts were deeper, the wind was colder, and night was falling. All signs that white walkers were in the area. Jon could see the great hill even through the blowing snow - The Fist of the First Men. Jon noted that the wildlings were crawling over the dead garrons like flies, stripping them of saddles, bridles, packs, and armor, and hacking them apart with stone axes.  They were even prying horseshoes from their hooves. There were ravens flapping from one dead horse to the next and Jon wondered if they were Nights Watch ravens. Mance was at the top of the hill. Under his black wool and red silk he wore black ringmail and shaggy fur breeches, and on his head was a great bronze-and-iron helm with raven wings at either temple. Is Mance "Ossa Ravenhead", a Viking warrior god of wisdom and strength? Wearing a winged helmet is commonly used to depict Celts, but the shaggy fur breeches imply he’s wearing a ritual costume that projects the wearer’s intention to become a divine predator.

 

Mance blames Jon for the attack:

“You should never have lied to me, Jon Snow,” said Mance.

  “The Old Bear commanded,” said Jon. “This place was high and strong, and he made it stronger. He dug pits and planted stakes, laid up food and water. He was ready for . . .” 

  “. . . me?” finished Mance Rayder.

 <snip>  

…when the dead walk, walls and stakes and swords mean nothing. You cannot fight the dead, Jon Snow. No man knows that half so well as me.”

 

Speaking for myself here, I fully believe that it will be Jon that has to face and fight Mance and "finish the job" that started with that sword fight in the practice yard when Mance was "not himself", but disguised as Rattleshirt.

:agree:THIS is the "wildling" that will cause the trouble and Jon will have to slay. Mance. I agree with you here.

Also, once this happens, it will be the final seal that the free folk will see Jon as their King Beyond the Wall ('cuz Jon is beyond the wall from the free folk perspective as well... get it :leer:... sorry, dumb joke. I told you it was late.)

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When Stannis was riding to attack - Mance could hear his warhorn. Jon remembered Mance’s words about the dead walking, and Varamyr said something was coming from the east:

  Harma scowled. “East? The wights should be behind us.”

How would Harma know where the wights were? 

 

Because Harma had just come from that direction.

A Storm of Swords - Jon VI

"Defending the Wall against your wildling friends."
"Yes, but where?"
"Everywhere. Harma Dogshead was seen at Woodswatch-by-the-Pool, Rattleshirt at Long Barrow, the Weeper near Icemark. All along the Wall . . . they're here, they're there, they're climbing near Queensgate, they're hacking at the gates of Greyguard, they're massing against Eastwatch . . . but one glimpse of a black cloak and they're gone. Next day they're somewhere else."
 
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When they finally realized that the soldiers weren’t from Castle Black nor Eastwatch they were upset by the iron:

  “Mance!” the shout came. It was a scout, bursting from the trees on a lathered horse. “Mance, there’s more, they’re all around us, iron men, iron, a host of iron men.”

Or, this could be a play on words from in-world history since it seems the Iron Born are the ones who actually do the reaving and raping and actual stealing. The quote you gave above from Ygritte where she clarifies that daughters are "stolen" is one of a few that show the free folk "stealing" is not what it seems. The second quote tells the free folk don't fear iron itself, the material, and then we read read of Osha wearing iron.

  • Yet even more than the fisherman, ironborn esteem their reavers. "Wolves of the sea," the men of the westerlands and riverlands named them in days of yore, and rightly. Like wolves, they oft hunted in packs, crossing stormy seas in their swift longships and descending on peaceful villages and towns up and down the shores of the Sunset Sea to raid, rob, and rape. Fearless sailors and fearsome fighters, they would appear out of the morning mists to do their bloody work and be back at sea before the sun had reached its zenith, their longships laden with plunder and crowded with wailing children and frightened women.
  • The wildling raiders trouble the realm largely for iron and steel—things they lack the skill to make themselves. Many raiders are armed with weapons of wood and stone, even of horn in some cases. Some carry bronze axes and knives, but even these are considered valuable. The famous war leaders amongst them often sport stolen steel, sometimes taken from rangers of the Watch whom they have killed.
  • Bran lifted his head. Osha stood across the pool, beneath an ancient oak, her face shadowed by leaves. Even in irons, the Wildling moved quiet as a cat. Summer circled the pool, sniffed at her. The tall woman flinched.
Edited by The Fattest Leech

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Putting this here to link to in the main post because it grew too long to keep there ^_^

Shireen burning.

 Melisandre and Selyse are working together as heads of a fiery dragon. Yes, Selyse is a fire dragon symbol in this story despite her Florent origins, and it was Selyse that accepted Melisandre in to this three-way with Stannis. It seems Melisandre and Selyse will burn Shireen and they may do so over at Nightfort at the Black Gate.  Wherever it takes place, we know Selyse is an extreme religious zealot, and that Melisandre is misreading her flames at every turn. The plan is to put Shireen on the throne as Stannis' heir, but the twist will be the fickle flames (Melisandre) that change direction with the wind and Selyse making another call that contradicts her husband's wishes.

We already see that Selyse is dreaming of her own fiery death by "dragon".

A Clash of Kings - Prologue

An ugly little girl and a sad fool, and maester makes three . . . now there is a tale to make men weep. "Sit with me, child." Cressen beckoned her closer. "This is early to come calling, scarce past dawn. You should be snug in your bed."
"I had bad dreams," Shireen told him. "About the dragons. They were coming to eat me."
The child had been plagued by nightmares as far back as Maester Cressen could recall. "We have talked of this before," he said gently. "The dragons cannot come to life. They are carved of stone, child. In olden days, our island was the westernmost outpost of the great Freehold of Valyria. It was the Valyrians who raised this citadel, and they had ways of shaping stone since lost to us. A castle must have towers wherever two walls meet at an angle, for defense. The Valyrians fashioned these towers in the shape of dragons to make their fortress seem more fearsome, just as they crowned their walls with a thousand gargoyles instead of simple crenellations." He took her small pink hand in his own frail spotted one and gave it a gentle squeeze. "So you see, there is nothing to fear."

And we know R'hllor and the fires are a hungry god.

A Dance with Dragons - Jon III

But most came on. Behind them was only cold and death. Ahead was hope. They came on, clutching their scraps of wood until the time came to feed them to the flames. R'hllor was a jealous deity, ever hungry. So the new god devoured the corpse of the old, and cast gigantic shadows of Stannis and Melisandre upon the Wall, black against the ruddy red reflections on the ice.

A Dance with Dragons - Jon X

Melisandre raised her hands, and the ditchfire leapt upward toward her fingers, like a great red dog springing for a treat. A swirl of sparks rose to meet the snowflakes coming down. "Oh, Lord of Light, we thank you," she sang to the hungry flames. "We thank you for brave Stannis, by your grace our king. Guide him and defend him, R'hllor. Protect him from the treacheries of evil men and grant him strength to smite the servants of the dark."
 
And we know Stannis has taken Nightfort as his seat, and now Selyse is moving in on it fast to take Stannis' seat and usurp his authority, just as she has done with making marriage pacts and making other "kingly" orders. Selyse is upjumping her dragon status by leeching it from Stannis, just as Melisandre leeches the life out of Stannis with her shadow baby making. (sorry leeches) This is a twist on the Aegon the Dragon/Conquerer whose two sister-wives were the ones to make the most "progress" riding out on their dragons. By the way, in all of GRRM's work, when he uses the term "progress", it is always associated with dragons or fire, and always means submission of some sort, not unlike what happened to Native Americans.

A Dance with Dragons - Jon VIII

"And other matters," said Bowen Marsh. "The men have concerns, my lord."
And who is it who appointed you to speak for them? "As do I. Othell, how goes the work at the Nightfort? I have had a letter from Ser Axell Florent, who styles himself the Queen's Hand. He tells me that Queen Selyse is not pleased with her quarters at Eastwatch-by-the-Sea and wishes to move into her husband's new seat at once. Will that be possible?"
 
And Melisandre is has already shown us two times that icons are best burnt at the gate.
  1. Burning of the Seven gods at Dragonstone: The burning gods cast a pretty light, wreathed in their robes of shifting flame, red and orange and yellow. Septon Barre had once told Davos how they'd been carved from the masts of the ships that had carried the first Targaryens from Valyria. Over the centuries, they had been painted and repainted, gilded, silvered, jeweled. "Their beauty will make them more pleasing to R'hllor," Melisandre said when she told Stannis to pull them down and drag them out the castle gates.
  2. Burning of the old gods/weirwood at Castle Black gates: "Leave it in my chambers." The wildling would eat it, like as not. "Lord Snow has need of me, beyond the Wall." He does not know it yet, but soon …
    Outside, a light snow had begun to fall. A crowd of crows had gathered around the gate by the time Melisandre and her escort arrived, but they made way for the red priestess.
    *This is the same place where in ASOS we see Mel and her followers praying at the fires at the gate: Beneath the Wall, the queen's men were kindling their nightfire. He saw Melisandre emerge from the tunnel with the king beside her, to lead the prayers she believed would keep the dark away. "Come, Ghost," Jon told the wolf. "With me. You're hungry, I know. I could feel it." They ran together for the gate, circling wide around the nightfire, where reaching flames clawed at the black belly of the night. (< fiery hand of R'hllor again)
    *And Stannis goes along with fires before gates: "That is my concern. I shall require a list from you, detailing the present state of every castle and what might be required to restore it. I mean to have them all garrisoned again within the year, and nightfires burning before their gates."
     

Melisandre and Selyse have both already begged to burn another child, Edric Storm. Thank goodness Stannis rejects burning his blood and Davos later saves the stormchild from the flames.

A Storm of Swords - Davos V

"Give me the boy for R'hllor," the red woman said, "and the ancient prophecy shall be fulfilled. Your dragon shall awaken and spread his stony wings. The kingdom shall be yours."
Ser Axell went to one knee. "On bended knee I beg you, sire. Wake the stone dragon and let the traitors tremble. Like Aegon you begin as Lord of Dragonstone. Like Aegon you shall conquer. Let the false and the fickle feel your flames."
"Your own wife begs as well, lord husband." Queen Selyse went down on both knees before the king, hands clasped as if in prayer. "Robert and Delena defiled our bed and laid a curse upon our union. This boy is the foul fruit of their fornications. Lift his shadow from my womb and I will bear you many trueborn sons, I know it." She threw her arms around his legs. "He is only one boy, born of your brother's lust and my cousin's shame."
"He is mine own blood. Stop clutching me, woman." King Stannis put a hand on her shoulder, awkwardly untangling himself from her grasp. "Perhaps Robert did curse our marriage bed. He swore to me that he never meant to shame me, that he was drunk and never knew which bedchamber he entered that night. But does it matter? The boy was not at fault, whatever the truth."

And in this Sam scene, we have Stannis and Melisandre both showing some interest in the Black Gate at Nightfort. Hmmm, curious because this is two lines before Stannis shows off his Lightbringer sword that is false, and all that Stannis has been told by Mel is false/mixed up, so their combined understanding of this gate and its purpose is also most probably false or distorted (like flames). Maybe this is what brings the wall down causing the earthquake that is the giants waking from earth? Fires at the Nightfort Black gate in Rat Cook's kitchen.

The Black Gate is hidden at the bottom of a seemingly ritualistic well. I detailed it here in another thread if you want to take a peek.

A Storm of Swords - Samwell V

"The B-black Gate," Sam stammered. "Below the Nightfort."
"The Nightfort is the largest and oldest of the castles on the Wall," the king said. "That is where I intend to make my seat, whilst I fight this war. You will show me this gate."
 
However, at this point in the story Stannis is far away from the wall and any wall castles, but Melisandre and Selyse are not. Also at this point in the story Stannis is presumed dead and possibly a Ramsay Bolton attack is coming to the wall because Jon is (temporarily) incapacitated meaning Jon cannot "return Arya" to Winterfell, which was part of the bastard-pink letter threat. Also, with Jon being stabbed and Marsh and co. being outnumbered by the free folk (who, for the most part, see Jon as their leader), there is going to be a lot of chaos at Castle Black. And let's not forget that the wall has just "come down" because the brothers did not stand strong together when they stabbed their leader which means the Long Night v2.0 has just begun.
 
What are Selyse and Melisandre to do? Possibly flee with the girl Shireen to Nightfort as a night queen would.
 
The historic man that is thought to be Night's King is just a tale. What we are getting now in the current story is the history repeating, just with a twist. Night's King is now Night's Queen- Selyse, and the corpse bride is now Melisandre (for many reasons). Remember, "dragons" change gender. This is probably just as much of a hint to readers not to stick to the historic details too closely, because in the retellings of fire stories, the genders will flip. The broad strokes are what matter most, and Selyse and Mel fit.
 
However... Selyse does have a mustache...

A Clash of Kings - Prologue

Lord Stannis scowled. "I do not beg. Of anyone. Mind you remember that, woman."
"I am pleased to hear it, my lord." Lady Selyse was as tall as her husband, thin of body and thin of face, with prominent ears, a sharp nose, and the faintest hint of a mustache on her upper lip. She plucked it daily and cursed it regularly, yet it never failed to return. Her eyes were pale, her mouth stern, her voice a whip. She cracked it now. "Lady Arryn owes you her allegiance, as do the Starks, your brother Renly, and all the rest. You are their one true king. It would not be fitting to plead and bargain with them for what is rightfully yours by the grace of god."
God, she said, not gods. The red woman had won her, heart and soul, turning her from the gods of the Seven Kingdoms, both old and new, to worship the one they called the Lord of Light.
 
If Selyse and Mel escape and run to Nightfort now that the Long Night has begun, Selyse will "rule" from there.

A Storm of Swords - Bran IV

"Some say he was a Bolton," Old Nan would always end. "Some say a Magnar out of Skagos, some say Umber, Flint, or Norrey. Some would have you think he was a Woodfoot, from them who ruled Bear Island before the ironmen came. He never was. He was a Stark, the brother of the man who brought him down." She always pinched Bran on the nose then, he would never forget it. "He was a Stark of Winterfell, and who can say? Mayhaps his name was Brandon. Mayhaps he slept in this very bed in this very room."
No, Bran thought, but he walked in this castle, where we'll sleep tonight. He did not like that notion very much at all. Night's King was only a man by light of day, Old Nan would always say, but the night was his to rule. And it's getting dark.
 
CRACKPOT: And it is possible that Selyse and Mel become lovers, if not already. Think back to this quote and notice what Selyse says about shadows in wombs. Sex is heat, and the shadows are brought forth from flames (of passion), and Melisandre is a "red shadow".

A Storm of Swords - Davos V

"Give me the boy for R'hllor," the red woman said, "and the ancient prophecy shall be fulfilled. Your dragon shall awaken and spread his stony wings. The kingdom shall be yours."
Ser Axell went to one knee. "On bended knee I beg you, sire. Wake the stone dragon and let the traitors tremble. Like Aegon you begin as Lord of Dragonstone. Like Aegon you shall conquer. Let the false and the fickle feel your flames."
"Your own wife begs as well, lord husband." Queen Selyse went down on both knees before the king, hands clasped as if in prayer. "Robert and Delena defiled our bed and laid a curse upon our union. This boy is the foul fruit of their fornications. Lift his shadow from my womb and I will bear you many trueborn sons, I know it." She threw her arms around his legs. "He is only one boy, born of your brother's lust and my cousin's shame."
"He is mine own blood. Stop clutching me, woman." King Stannis put a hand on her shoulder, awkwardly untangling himself from her grasp. "Perhaps Robert did curse our marriage bed. He swore to me that he never meant to shame me, that he was drunk and never knew which bedchamber he entered that night. But does it matter? The boy was not at fault, whatever the truth."

A Dance with Dragons - Jon VI

I am not a wolf, he thought. "And how would I do that?"
"I can show you." Melisandre draped one slender arm over Ghost, and the direwolf licked her face. "The Lord of Light in his wisdom made us male and female, two parts of a greater whole. In our joining there is power. Power to make life. Power to make light. Power to cast shadows."
"Shadows." The world seemed darker when he said it.
 
Edited by The Fattest Leech
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