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SER SHADRICH, HIS ALLIES AND ADVERSARIES.. (Morgarth, Byron, Creighton, Illifer)

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12 hours ago, sweetsunray said:

She says to the kindly man and herself afterwards it's because he's a deserter of the NW. But the scene of the night she murders him, shows a diferent tale. She is watching trying to seduce young Lanna with the typical lies he tells to women and she knows of the fight he had with Sam.

The First of the FM chose targets. Someone in the HoBaW decides what prayer will be answered. I won't go into too much of it here, but you can find a link to my essay Valkyrie of the FM theory in my sig for a deeper analysis.

I don't think Sansa has so much of the Valkyrie in her (she's never a cupbearer for example), but she has Norn features. I've proposed that Winterfell's godswood has pointers to the Urdrbrunnr (except a black colored one here), with Winterfell having much akin with Walhalla (the crypts + Theon's WF feast nightmare). If true then we need 3 Fates from WF. And I think George conflated Greek Fates with the 3 main Norns of Norse mythology in this, because of the "sowing", "needle" references. And thus a crone, a mother and a maiden. At the start of aGoT, the crone is Old Nan and Catelyn is the mother, with Arya already being the more perceptive of the two sisters and thus already taking the maiden-norn place. But Old Nan disappears (and is imo most likely dead), and Cat is resurrected as LS and thus the crone-norn. This is also the time that Sansa starts to get in touch with WF in her heart again and becomes Sweetrobin's surrogate mother.  So, the 3 fates/norns of WF are Stoneheart, Sansa and Arya, with Arya being a Valkyrie too. I'd say she features as Skuld. 

what the hell is the Urdrbrunnr. when you say Walhalla are you referring to Valhalla from Norse mythology. What does WF refer too. But yeah i'm sure that the northern elements of a song of ice and fire are inspired by elements of Norse mythology. Just like the southern elements are inspired by medieval England. In fact the entire country of westeros is latterly the same exact look as the UK. Then Essos looks just like the rest of Europe.

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44 minutes ago, Wrl6199 said:

what the hell is the Urdrbrunnr. when you say Walhalla are you referring to Valhalla from Norse mythology. What does WF refer too. But yeah i'm sure that the northern elements of a song of ice and fire are inspired by elements of Norse mythology. Just like the southern elements are inspired by medieval England. In fact the entire country of westeros is latterly the same exact look as the UK. Then Essos looks just like the rest of Europe.

Yes, Walhalla or Valhalla. The world tree Yggdrasil has 3 roots all ending up at different locations.

  • One ends at Mimir's Well of wisdom. Odin had to sacrifice his eye and lay it in the well in order to be allowed to drink from it. It's located in Jotunheimr, one of the 9 realms in Norse mythology, and means Lands of Frost Giants. Basically Bloodraven's cave, though there are also references to the cave of Hypnos, the Greek god of sleep and dreams, where the Lethe (river of oblivion/forgetting) runs through and its murmur makes people drowsy.
  • Another root ends in Hel in NIflheim (Misty lands) with 9 rivers (the Riverlands in other words), and it's where most of the dead go (the ones that didn't die in battle). It is ruled by Hel (Loki's daughter, who looks half pink, half black/blue like a corpse, with terrifying fierce eyes). She became the ruler of this underworld, after the gods threw her into one of the rivers of that realm (Lady Stoneheart derives from this in part). Hollow Hill is Hel, the Riverlands are Niflheim. 
  • A 3rd root ends either in Asgard (realms of the gods) or Midgard (realms of men), depending on the source (poetic or prose edda). Both sources agree though that it ends at the Urdrbrunnr. Urd is the name of one of the 3 Norns (fates) living there, and means "fate/future". In Old English the same word derived from the same Proto-Indo European word is Wyrd (now spelled as 'weird'). When Shakespeare talks about the three weird sisters in Macbeth, he features those 3 Norns/Fates. And the way we use the word 'weird' is something of the 20th century. What the sources also mention is that Odin's palace stands nearby, and Odin's palace is Valhalla/Walhalla.

The series uses mythology from all over the world. We have Ned as Greek Hades and Egyptian Osiris (in death). Catelyn has hints to Persephone, but many more to Demeter and Isis as well as Mesopotanian Ishtar. And as Lady Stonheart she has Isis references again, Demeter-Fury, and Hel. Lyanna is made Queen of the Underworld (her crypt statue), with wreath of flowers on her head, was abducted (raped), and found with 3 guards that are typical symbols for Persephone: bat, torch, light in the darkness. Oh and when she makes her first public appearance there's a false spring, but when she's abducted it's winter again. Arya gets to choose who dies and is a cupbearer from aCoK on and thus is consistently featured with Valkyrie attributes and tasks. And I'm not just talking Roose, but it includes Jaquen's request to bring them a drink at the Ivy inn, serving the men at HH, giving water to the men in the crow cages, giving water to the dying man of Pinkmaiden, giving Sandor water, the bravo who lies dying when Arya enters the HoBaW, and holding drinks when the FM meet. But her water dancing heavily alludes to Swan Lake ballet (larning to stand on toes and one leg), and she even spies on a Sorcerer beneath the Red Keep (Varys), and there are many allusions to the Ugly Duckling story as well. George's Bear-Maiden theme derives from subarctic bear hunt folklore, beliefs and rituals (Finnish, Saami, Germanic, Syberian and North American). 

George doesn't use Norse myth for the North alone, and eastern mythology for say Essos alone. He picks and chooses from several mythologies from all over the world and applies it where it fits thematically (rather than geographically), from fairytales, and literature, and history. Hardly any POV or secondary character is a certain god/faiyrytale or historical figure alone from one myth/story, but has references to several, sometimes from the same mythology. That's ok, since mythology conflates attributes all the time, even within the same mythology. That said, it doesn't mean that we cannot piece some clues together based on these myths, fairytales and literary allusions, as @Blue-Eyed Wolf does here for Sansa in relation to Shadrich and hsi companions. But you can't say: oh, character x has allusions to god(ess) y, so that will be the final outcome of that character in the books. Example: Robb Stark has several allusion to the Egyptian Horus (all Catelyn's sons portray a stage and aspects of Horus), as the king who unites a northern and southern region to one kingdom and battling his enemy to avenge his father's death. Unlike Horus though - he dies without winning the war himself.

 

Edited by sweetsunray

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Just now, sweetsunray said:

Yes, Walhalla or Valhalla. The world tree Yggdrasil has 3 roots all ending up at different locations.

  • One ends at Mimir's Well of wisdom. Odin had to sacrifice his eye and lay it in the well in order to be allowed to drink from it. It's located in Jotunheimr, one of the 9 realms in Norse mythology, and means Lands of Frost Giants. Basically Bloodraven's cave, though there are also references to the cave of Hypnos, the Greek god of sleep and dreams, where the Lethe (river of oblivion/forgetting) runs through and its murmur makes people drowsy.
  • Another root ends in Hel in NIflheim (Misty lands) with 9 rivers (the Riverlands in other words), and it's where most of the dead go (the ones that didn't die in battle). It is ruled by Hel (Loki's daughter, who looks half pink, half black/blue like a corpse, with terrifying fierce eyes). She became the ruler of this underworld, after the gods threw her into one of the rivers of that realm (Lady Stoneheart derives from this in part). Hollow Hill is Hel, the Riverlands are Niflheim. 
  • A 3rd root ends either in Asgard (realms of the gods) or Midgard (realms of men), depending on the source (poetic or prose edda). Both sources agree though that it ends at the Urdrbrunnr. Urd is the name of one of the 3 Norns (fates) living there, and means "fate/future". In Old English the same word derived from the same Proto-Indo European word is Wyrd (now spelled as 'weird'). When Shakespeare talks about the three weird sisters in Macbeth, he features those 3 Norns/Fates. And the way we use the word 'weird' is something of the 20th century. What the sources also mention is that Odin's palace stands nearby, and Odin's palace is Valhalla/Walhalla.

The series uses mythology from all over the world. We have Ned as Greek Hades and Egyptian Osiris (in death). Catelyn has hints to Persephone, but many more to Demeter and Isis as well as Mesopotanian Ishtar. And as Lady Stonheart she has Isis references again, Demeter-Fury, and Hel. Lyanna is made Queen of the Underworld (her crypt statue), with wreath of flowers on her head, was abducted (raped), and found with 3 guards that are typical symbols for Persephone: bat, torch, light in the darkness. Oh and when she makes her first public appearance there's a false spring, but when she's abducted it's winter again. Arya gets to choose who dies and is a cupbearer from aCoK on and thus is consistently featured with Valkyrie attributes and tasks. And I'm not just talking Roose, but it includes Jaquen's request to bring them a drink at the Ivy inn, serving the men at HH, giving water to the men in the crow cages, giving water to the dying man of Pinkmaiden, giving Sandor water, the bravo who lies dying when Arya enters the HoBaW, and holding drinks when the FM meet. But her water dancing heavily alludes to Swan Lake ballet (larning to stand on toes and one leg), and she even spies on a Sorcerer beneath the Red Keep (Varys), and there are many allusions to the Ugly Duckling story as well. George's Bear-Maiden theme derives from subarctic bear hunt folklore, beliefs and rituals (Finnish, Saami, Germanic, Syberian and North American). 

George doesn't use Norse myth for the North alone, and eastern mythology for say Essos alone. He picks and chooses from several mythologies from all over the world and applies it where it fits thematically (rather than geographically), from fairytales, and literature, and history. Hardly any POV or secondary character is a certain god/faiyrytale or historical figure alone from one myth/story, but has references to several, sometimes from the same mythology. That's ok, since mythology conflates attributes all the time, even within the same mythology. That said, it doesn't mean that we cannot piece some clues together based on these myths, fairytales and literary allusions, as @Blue-Eyed Wolf does here for Sansa in relation to Shadrich and hsi companions. But you can't say: oh, character x has allusions to god(ess) y, so that will be the final outcome of that character in the books. 

 

Yeah tats true. theirs a lot of elements from Essos that seem to be inspired by a lot of different cultures especially. its interesting how the Valyrian's were so white.

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On 11/5/2016 at 2:39 AM, sweetsunray said:

I don't think Sansa has so much of the Valkyrie in her (she's never a cupbearer for example)

Just had a random thought today.  Actually, she has been a cupbearer a few times:

Sansa III, ASOS (on the night of her wedding to Tyrion):

Quote

Sansa filled a goblet for each of them. It will be easier if I am drunk as well. She sat on the edge of the great curtained bed and drained half her cup in three long swallows. No doubt it was very fine wine, but she was too nervous to taste it. It made her head swim. "Would you have me undress, my lord?

Sansa I, AFFC (After the questioning of Alayne after Lysa's death by Nestor Royce):

Quote

He turned to Nestor Royce. "My lord, will you join me in the solar for a cup of wine? Alayne, sweetling, come pour for us."

A low fire burned in the solar, where a flagon of wine awaited them. Arbor gold. Sansa filled Lord Nestor's cup whilst Petyr prodded at the logs with an iron poker.

Alayne I, AFFC (At the Lords Declarant meeting):

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The dress she picked was lambswool, dark brown and simply cut, with leaves and vines embroidered around the bodice, sleeves, and hem in golden thread. It was modest and becoming, though scarce richer than something a serving girl might wear.

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The other lords made the climb. Alayne met them in the Crescent Chamber beside a warming fire, where she welcomed them in Lord Robert's name and served them bread and cheese and cups of hot mulled wine in silver cups.

....

Hunter's cheeks and nose were red as apples, which bespoke a certain fondness for the grape. She made certain to fill his cup as often as he emptied it.

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"Lord Royce," she asked timidly, "will you have a cup of wine, to take the chill off?"

....

"The Lord Protector awaits you in the solar. If my lords would follow me." From the Crescent Chamber they climbed a steep flight of marble steps that bypassed both undercrofts and dungeons and passed beneath three murder holes, which the Lords Declarant pretended not to notice. Belmore was soon puffing like a bellows, and Redfort's face turned as grey as his hair. The guards atop the stairs raised the portcullis at their coming. "This way, if it please my lords." Alayne led them down the arcade past a dozen splendid tapestries. Ser Lothor Brune stood outside the solar. He opened the door for them and followed them inside.

Petyr was seated at the trestle table with a cup of wine to hand, looking over a crisp white parchment. He glanced up as the Lords Declarant filed in. "My lords, be welcome. And you as well, my lady. The ascent is wearisome, I know. Please be seated. Alayne, my sweet, more wine for our noble guests."

"As you say, Father." The candles had been lighted, she was pleased to see; the solar smelled of nutmeg and other costly spices. She went to fetch the flagon whilst the visitors arranged themselves side by side

The above quote feels most evocative of passing a threshold to the Underworld or Valhalla.  Like Arya to Roose Bolton, Sansa in this case is also serving hot mulled wine, which @The Fattest Leech made connections to mead in her Nymeria thread.  Instead of Loki, Littlefinger in this scenario could be acting as a less honorable aspect of Odin as a selfish trickster that can sometimes incite people to strife just for the hell of it or to serve his own purposes.  Valhalla (and the rest of the Underworld) may not have much to do with moralty or necessarily the acts a person did in life, but Odin's own self-interest in who will aid him against Fenrir (a wolf) in the final battle of Ragnarok (which he's doomed to die anyway).  Littlefinger is clearly using most of the Vale lords in such a way as a means to achieve his ultimate goals.  As it seems to be foreshadowed and set up in the books, Littlefinger will likely also meet his end by a wolf.  Fenrir's father is Loki as LF is Alayne's "father."    

Alayne II, AFFC (at least offering to be a cup bearer-- sort of-- to Sweetrobin):

Quote

"Shall I bring you a warm cloth for your brow? Or a cup of dreamwine? Only a little one, though. Mya Stone is waiting down at Sky, and she'll be hurt if you go to sleep on her. You know how much she loves you."

 

Edited by Blue-Eyed Wolf

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@The Fattest Leech Quoting from you in your Nymeria thread:

Quote

Mead is made from honey and water and sometimes spices. So mead is honey-wine. Jon loves his spiced/mulled wine as he drinks it several times throughout Dance.

As we saw earlier in the Shieldhall post, Tormund the Mead-King of Ruddy Hall calls for mead to celebrate battle and Jon binding the wildlings to his cause.

Mead of Poetry. The drink is a vivid metaphor for poetic inspiration, often associated with Odin the god of 'possession' via berserker rage or poetic inspiration. This mead of poetry drink is mix of blood and honeywhich when drunk is supposed to make someone be able to answer any question. Very symbolic, indeed.

Spiced/mulled wine shows up in the Vale arc in two moments.  As I said it's served at the Lords Declarant meeting and at the appearance of Shadrich, Morgarth, and Byron at the Gates of the Moon.  Certainly in the Lord's Declarant meeting, Petyr was able to put all questions to the legitimacy of his position as Lord Protector to rest, at least for a year.  He certainly had an answer for every objection.  Interestingly, when we meet the hedgeknights, the mulled wine might cause him to answer more things that he might have normally been more guarded about.  Alayne II, AFFC:

Quote

"He's back?" she said, startled.

"At evenfall. You'll find him in the west tower."

The hour was closer to dawn than to dusk, and most of the castle was asleep, but not Petyr Baelish. Alayne found him seated by a crackling fire, drinking hot mulled wine with three men she did not know. They all rose when she entered, and Petyr smiled warmly. "Alayne. Come, give your father a kiss."

 **Side note**This is a little vague here on the time, but I'm wondering if this is around the hour of the bat, which would be appropriate to Sansa or closer to the hour of the wolf.  If it's one of those hours associated with Sansa, this could be an auspicious sign that this meeting is going to be important.  

Sansa has just finished her long decent from the Eyrie when a servant tells her the Lord Protector is waiting for her.  Petyr has been back from Lyonnel Cobray's wedding with his new hedge knights since early evening.  It seems as though he is in a celebratory mood having arranged Corbray's wedding and secured an ally.  Plus he's got himself even more hired protection. That warm smile seems to say Petyr has gotten a little in his cups.  His smiles are usually not warm or natural.  They're false smiles that don't touch his eyes.  It indicates he's less inhibited and less restrained.  It makes you wonder about all the hours of conversation they must have had -- or what information did they manage to get out of Petyr while he's a little drunk.

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She hugged him dutifully and kissed him on the cheek. "I am sorry to intrude, Father. No one told me you had company."

"You are never an intrusion, sweetling. I was just now telling these good knights what a dutiful daughter I had."

...

"Knights they are," said Petyr. "Their gallantry has yet to be demonstrated, but we may hope. Allow me to present Ser Byron, Ser Morgarth, and Ser Shadrich. Sers, the Lady Alayne, my natural and very clever daughter . . . with whom I must needs confer, if you will be so good as to excuse us."

So they got him talking about his "daughter" and got him to summon her to the room as soon as she arrived from the Eyrie even though the hour is pretty late?  And the wine does make Petyr a little less in control than he usually is, especially when it comes to his weakness for Sansa.  That little pause with the ellipsis in the last line as his mind is on his "daughter" right before he wants to be alone with her.  Ew!  After the hedge knights leave, Petyr grabs her face and makes her give him a much longer kiss. :ack: He also makes her sit in his lap while he pretty explicitly lays out his thought process regarding Cersei (except for the part about the "war of the three Queens") and his own timeline for his plans, the betrothal to Harry and what he considers SR's inevitable death.  I can't imagine he would spill so much all at once to her if he weren't a little drunk.  The hedge knights don't give any indication by their speech or actions that they are drunk.  So we got tricksters on both sides of the room, but one may have just gotten tricked into revealing important information.

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**Side note**This is a little vague here on the time, but I'm wondering if this is around the hour of the bat, which would be appropriate to Sansa or closer to the hour of the wolf. 

I'd say Hour of the Wolf.  The Hour of the Bat appears to be the first Hour of the night.  

ETA : I discuss the Hour of the Bat in the OP here: http://asoiaf.westeros.org/index.php?/topic/138138-the-bat-and-the-wolf/

Edited by Isobel Harper

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@Isobel Harper Thank you!  Actually that could make perfect sense being the hour of the wolf.  If Byron is actually Sandor, she's close to getting her replacement wolf back.  He's no longer a dog and she wished for the old, blind dog to be Lady, her wolf.  

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1 hour ago, Blue-Eyed Wolf said:

@Isobel Harper Thank you!  Actually that could make perfect sense being the hour of the wolf.  If Byron is actually Sandor, she's close to getting her replacement wolf back.  He's no longer a dog and she wished for the old, blind dog to be Lady, her wolf.  

The nightmare she has and the wish for the blind dog to be Lady when she awakes represents, in my mind, her letting go of her (platonic) relationship with the Hound.  

While we will probably continue to see her associated with wolves in some way - as she is still a Stark deep down - I expect to see an increase in bat imagery associated with her in Winds.

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RE: OP.  I've been following the discussion in this thread since its beginning, though I think today is my first time responding.  

With regard to Ser Shadrich being Howland Reed in disguise or (as some suggested) a riverlander with some Whent connection...  I believe Robb made Sansa Shella Whent's heir in his will, or possibly Shella Whent made Sansa her heir after learning of her disinheritance from Winterfell.

Spoiler

 "Will you be seeking wings?" the Royce girl said.

"A mouse with wings would be a silly sight."

Perhaps Shadrich is being sly with this comment, and this is a playful "jibe" of sorts directed at Sansa, though one she's not aware of (yet).

As many have questioned already, from what I recall reading up-thread, perhaps Shadrich knows about Robb's will? 

 

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@Blue-Eyed Wolf I came across two interesting things with regards to the proposal of Byron being a glamored Sandor

The poet Byron had a favourite dog who died of rabies. He treated him personally without any fear of being bitten or attacked, and afterwards wrote a poem for his dog, Boatswain (a Newfoundland dog), called Epitaph to a dog. The poem is engraved on the dog's grave and the grave is larger than Byron's. The first two introductory paragraphs were written by his friend.

Quote

Near this Spot
are deposited the Remains of one
who possessed Beauty without Vanity,
Strength without Insolence,
Courage without Ferocity,
and all the virtues of Man without his Vices.

This praise, which would be unmeaning Flattery
if inscribed over human Ashes,
is but a just tribute to the Memory of
Boatswain, a Dog
who was born in Newfoundland May 1803
and died at Newstead Nov. 18th, 1808


When some proud Son of Man returns to Earth,
Unknown to Glory, but upheld by Birth,
The sculptor’s art exhausts the pomp of woe,
And storied urns record who rests below.
When all is done, upon the Tomb is seen,
Not what he was, but what he should have been.
But the poor Dog, in life the firmest friend,
The first to welcome, foremost to defend,
Whose honest heart is still his Master’s own,
Who labours, fights, lives, breathes for him alone,
Unhonoured falls, unnoticed all his worth,
Denied in heaven the Soul he held on earth –
While man, vain insect! hopes to be forgiven,
And claims himself a sole exclusive heaven.

Oh man! thou feeble tenant of an hour,
Debased by slavery, or corrupt by power –
Who knows thee well, must quit thee with disgust,
Degraded mass of animated dust!
Thy love is lust, thy friendship all a cheat,
Thy tongue hypocrisy, thy heart deceit!
By nature vile, ennobled but by name,
Each kindred brute might bid thee blush for shame.
Ye, who behold perchance this simple urn,
Pass on – it honours none you wish to mourn.
To mark a friend’s remains these stones arise;
I never knew but one -- and here he lies.

It puts the idea of the Hound declared dead and buried, becoming a gravedigger in quite another light all by itself. And he "died" a mad dog, with biting words wanting to be killed in mercy. But then a Byron appears near Sansa's side. :o 

Now by coincidence I was reading an introduction to the translation of Perault's Fairy Tales and in the list of recommended reading about storyteller and academic level analysis of fairytale symbolism (hair, animals, whatnotwhat) this title caught my eye: From the Beast to the Blonde, by Marina Warner and published in 1995. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Beast-Blonde-Fairy-Tales-Tellers/dp/0099479516

That GRRM is a fan of a Beast fairytale is not a secret. More, he's a fan of fairytales in general. A few weeks ago I actually discovered that George translated a compilation of Italian fairytales in the 90s (as George Martin). Especially for translation of fairy tales (especially from the original manuscript with layers for adults) having some background knowledge of the motifs and symbolism behind it is immensely helpful to write a translation that though perhaps not always literal can capture the spirit of what was written. The above background book about fairy tales from an academic comes highly recommended, and I wouldn't be surprised if you could find it on George's bookshelf.

So, Lord Byron's beloved dog died of rabies, was tended by him personally without fear of being harmed by his dog, and buried and a poem written for him, and then a modern must-read background book about fairytales has as title From the Beast to the Blonde. ;)

 

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2 hours ago, sweetsunray said:

It puts the idea of the Hound declared dead and buried, becoming a gravedigger in quite another light all by itself. And he "died" a mad dog, with biting words wanting to be killed in mercy. But then a Byron appears near Sansa's side

 
 
 

Oh, this is so good!  Funny thing from Tyrion I in GoT popped into my head with this where Tyrion comes upon the Hound and Joffrey discussing the howling of Bran's wolf all night long as Bran lay in his coma.  Sandor hopes that the drawn out "dying" of Bran (a wolf) will end soon and while it seems callous, he dislikes the perceived suffering.  Joffrey is concerned about the noise Summer is making and keeping him awake.    

Quote

Clegane cast a long shadow across the hard-packed earth as his squire lowered the black helm over his head. "I could silence the creature, if it please you," he said through his open visor. His boy placed a longsword in his hand. He tested the weight of it, slicing at the cold morning air. Behind him, the yard rang to the clangor of steel on steel.

The notion seemed to delight the prince. "Send a dog to kill a dog!" he exclaimed. "Winterfell is so infested with wolves, the Starks would never miss one."

 
2

Dogs and wolves are often compared, related, and mixed up in the story, but I think there is a distinct difference between the two.  There obviously many wonderful qualities in a dog, qualities that the Lannisters take advantage of but do not appreciate.  A dog is the descendent of wolves, but it's domesticated by man to serve man.  And men can be pretty unworthy masters.  I think that awesome poem drives that point home.  The author knew no truer friend than his dog and elevated him above other humans, including himself if we can judge by the tombstone.  The wolves in the story are not pets or servants, but spiritual partners, protectors, and guides.  I strongly believe Sandor's arc is about being transformed from a dog into a wolf.  If he is the replacement for Lady, he can't just stay a dog/servant/pet, he has to be transformed and elevated to a wolf/partner/protector/equal.  She does specifically wish for the old blind dog to be Lady.  And the wolves (Sansa and Arya) have both been spiritual guides and partners in his transformation process.  It works both ways.     

He's in dog-mode with his Hound helm on when he asks if it would please Joffrey to silence the creature.  Joffrey is mixing up dogs and wolves though by thinking of Summer as just a pet no different than any other.  We know what Joffrey does to pets. :o  So that also makes a good dog like Sandor a pet for an awful, unworthy master.  There's a layer of foreshadowing in what Joffrey says though.  When it came down to it, a wolf (Arya) did not kill the dog, it took the dog to kill the dog.  In other words, the gravedigger had to bury the Hound himself as this I think is the truest redemptive arc in the books.  The remaining man is going through a spiritual transformation on the Quiet Isle under an Elder Brother (how apt) to deal with the root of his issues.  So what comes next?  That whole intro to Byron where he approaches Sansa calls her beautiful and kisses her hand seems a bit "wolfish" (if we use the conventional meaning) to me. ;) That fits very well for the transformation of the Beast in the fairytale -- though with a twist if it's Byron the Beautiful.  The Disney version had the Beast transformed into a handsome prince, but if it's a glamor that part is fake.  :lol:  The real transformation is on the inside.  That is such a great find on that book.  I just love that poem / Byron connection and the book title is just perfection. LOL.     

Edited by Blue-Eyed Wolf

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6 hours ago, sweetsunray said:

@Blue-Eyed Wolf I came across two interesting things with regards to the proposal of Byron being a glamored Sandor

I don't know why, but I am always hesitant as hell to make a claim that someone is glamoured, but this seems to be a very strong connection to that idea. What a fantastic find! :thumbsup:

 

6 hours ago, sweetsunray said:

The poet Byron had a favourite dog who died of rabies. He treated him personally without any fear of being bitten or attacked, and afterwards wrote a poem for his dog, Boatswain (a Newfoundland dog), called Epitaph to a dog.

The funny thing about rabies, is while not a good thing to have, people often have crazy, convoluted ideas of how it actually acts within the body and why. Basically, like so many other things, it is misunderstood.

I had a poor raccoon die in my front yard about a year ago. The natural resources officer that came out gave me a long talk about rabies and how misunderstood it is, and that the raccoon dying of rabies was better for him, and me and my several pets, because it is "curable" (not going into too many details about that here). Anyway, I buried the raccoon in the front yard up on the hill.

6 hours ago, sweetsunray said:

 

It puts the idea of the Hound declared dead and buried, becoming a gravedigger in quite another light all by itself. And he "died" a mad dog, with biting words wanting to be killed in mercy. But then a Byron appears near Sansa's side. :o 

:o indeed. This can't be a coincidence. I mean, I can't find anything to refute in this situation.

 

6 hours ago, sweetsunray said:

From the Beast to the Blonde, by Marina Warner and published in 1995. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Beast-Blonde-Fairy-Tales-Tellers/dp/0099479516

Yup, this even links back to what @bemused quoted in the OP:

  • Ser Byron : ... I've been unsure about Ser Byron never having been able to find as convincing a possible ID for him. He's ... an elegant young knight whose thick blond mane cascaded down well past his shoulders. ... and we're told ...  the tall one with the blond hair kissed her (Sansa's) hand before taking his leave. 

6 hours ago, sweetsunray said:

That GRRM is a fan of a Beast fairytale is not a secret. More, he's a fan of fairytales in general.

This is his worst kept secret if this is what he was trying to do!:lmao: The man LOVES his dark, twisted fairytales and I love that he loves them and has admitted as much.

6 hours ago, sweetsunray said:

A few weeks ago I actually discovered that George translated a compilation of Italian fairytales in the 90s (as George Martin). Especially for translation of fairy tales (especially from the original manuscript with layers for adults) having some background knowledge of the motifs and symbolism behind it is immensely helpful to write a translation that though perhaps not always literal can capture the spirit of what was written. The above background book about fairy tales from an academic comes highly recommended, and I wouldn't be surprised if you could find it on George's bookshelf.

Thanks to your recommendation a while back, I went ahead and ordered that book. Holy cow is it #1 super good and fun to read, and #2, it is easy to spot where George got some inspiration to this ASOIAF world and many characters. Even the secondary and tertiary characters. Thank you for that book recommendation :cheers:

 

6 hours ago, sweetsunray said:

So, Lord Byron's beloved dog died of rabies, was tended by him personally without fear of being harmed by his dog, and buried and a poem written for him, and then a modern must-read background book about fairytales has as title From the Beast to the Blonde. ;)

 

And Sansa tended to the Hound without fear of being harmed by him ;). We all know Sansa loves her fairytales, but they are not the bright and shiny love stories she thinks they are. No. Instead they are the dark stories George loves and has worked on personally. This has it in a way that appeals to George and he re-wrote to make it his own.

Excellent find here, Sweetsunray ^_^

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Aside from being a very cool name for a dog, a boatswain is a high ranking member of the deck command on a ship.  One of their defining features is using a high-pitched whistle to give commands to the crew over the loud sounds of the ocean.  I really think the kiss Byron gives Alayne on her hand is the dog-whistle signal ;) he gives his crew that can't be heard by Littlefinger or Sansa.  And we've seen the Hound on the deck of a ship before in the Battle of Blackwater and he's leading knights like a pack of wolves.  

Quote

The knights fell among the archers like wolves among chickens, driving them back toward the ships and into the river before most could notch an arrow. Men-at-arms rushed to defend them with spear and axe, and in three heartbeats the scene had turned to blood-soaked chaos. Davos recognized the dog's-head helm of the Hound. A white cloak streamed from his shoulders as he rode his horse up the plank onto the deck of Prayer, hacking down anyone who blundered within reach.

2

Also again he's on the deck of the ferry when he's taking Arya across the flooding river and using a bit of trickery there too with the leader of the ferrymen, a bent-backed man (or crooked man) who is trying to price gouge them.  Arya notes these guys are also dangerous and could there's enough of them to potentially overpower the Hound and simply attempt to rob them.  But they don't.  A little more fooling the foolers here maybe.  He's under false pretenses, claiming to be a knight to gain their trust, using preconceived notions about knights to get to the other side of the river without needing to pay upfront.  Then leaves them nothing but a scrap of paper and he's off with a Stark daughter who's incognito.  

Quote

"A dead man's note, good for nine thousand dragons or nearabouts." The Hound swung up into the saddle behind Arya, and smiled down unpleasantly. "Ten of it is yours. I'll be back for the rest one day, so see you don't go spending it."
The man squinted down at the parchment. "Writing. What good's writing? You promised gold. Knight's honor, you said."
"Knights have no bloody honor. Time you learned that, old man." The Hound gave Stranger the spur and galloped off through the rain

3

:lmao: Scammed them using something from a dead man, hmm?  You bet against the Hound at a tourney, Petyr, you're gonna lose! 

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On 12/29/2016 at 10:49 PM, Blue-Eyed Wolf said:

Aside from being a very cool name for a dog, a boatswain is a high ranking member of the deck command on a ship. 

I was JUST getting ready to look this up! Ok, this might do it for me because this is another link to a Stark kid ending up with someone who is associated in a non-obvious way to boats, or crewman, or water, etc. :cheers:

ADDING: This has been on my mind to clarify (I don't know why???) I just want to say that I am still hesitant to claim for sure anyone is being glamoured in this situation. I think it may be more like these three are working to find Sansa and by way of process, reunite Sansa with the Hound.

Who knows? Maybe Edler Brother sent the three to find Sansa after the Hound confessed something to him? EB seems to know that the Hound has Arya, not Sansa, sooo...

 

Edited by The Fattest Leech

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12 minutes ago, The Fattest Leech said:

Thanks to your recommendation a while back, I went ahead and ordered that book. Holy cow is it #1 super good and fun to read, and #2, it is easy to spot where George got some inspiration to this ASOIAF world and many characters. Even the secondary and tertiary characters. Thank you for that book recommendation :cheers:

hihihi, gladly done; I still have to order it myself. Will have to wait though.

 

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Actually getting back to the OP (I know crazy, right!?!)  I was just thinking on the name Morgarth as an alias and connection to Ser Shadrich who is heavily shown with Old God associations, especially if he's HR, student of the green men.  I'm going to credit @LmL for having perfect timing in putting out his podcast on green men and sacrifice.  If he has anything to add, it would be great.    

The name Garth traces back to the mythological High King of the First Men, Garth Greenhand.  Some legends say he didn't just lead the original First Men from Essos into Westeros, but he actually predated this and was the first and only human in Westeros and that he interacted with the children of the forest and the giants.  Other legends make him a green god of fertility and harvest who demanded blood sacrifice or sometimes the green god himself is the sacrifice in autumn needed to ensure the renewal of life in the spring.  He not only brings about fertility in the land, but also increases fertility in women leading to maids flowering, crones regaining their moonblood, and mothers giving birth to twins and triplets.   

Elder Brother fits well as a symbolic Garth, green god of the cycle of life and death.  His hands are described as healing hands and credited with damn near miraculous healing at that.  His hands restore people.  The Quiet Isle is a perfect metaphor to support that idea.  It's a place of abundant life, death, and rebirth.  The isle is an idyllic self-sustaining place of food and drink.  They have lots of different fruits and vegetables grown there.  They have animals: sheep and ponds of fish.  They make butter so they might have some dairy animals too, like goats or cows.  They have a windmill to grind their own grain to make bread.  And they even brew quite a bit few alcoholic beverages:  ale, mead, cider, and wine.  Alcohol is a huge association green god types.  Elder Brother even has a red nose from the broken veins caused by alcohol abuse in his past life.  The honeybees and beehive shapes of the women's cottages have mythological associations with goddesses, the underworld, and rebirth and also connects us to Garth.  It is noted women come there too to be healed and to give birth.     

The Quiet Isle is also a place to cross over into the afterlife in more than one way.  Sometimes the dead and dying wash up on the shores, as did the Elder Brother when he was a knight fighting on the Trident.  Sometimes they are brought there like the Hound or the people of the Saltpans after the massacre to die or be healed.  The metaphoric and most common way is for penitents to abandon their old lives to be reborn in a new monastic life.  In a sense, the brothers on the Isle are dead to the outside world.  They don't speak with few exceptions.  Many cover their faces as well, obscuring their past identity.  Even their brown robes and cowls, they kinda remind me of the dead driftwood that washes up there.  Even driftwood gets reborn as beautiful polished furniture and cups!  If you want to come on the Quiet Isle, you need Elder Brother's or one of his proctor's permission.  There's a ferry to the isle, which is a great crossing over into death symbol.  So that makes Elder Brother, like Garth Greenhand, a psychopomp.  He's a gatekeeper between life and death, literal and metaphoric, and can also return people to the world of the living.  

That brings me to the kind of sad part.  It's autumn in the Vale.  He's Ser Morgarth and with Garth you also have the theme of blood sacrifice for the greater good.  "Mor" from the Latin word for death may be a not so subtle hint.  Remember Elder Brother was very pissed off about Ser Quincy Cox not opening his gates to protect the people of the Saltpans.  Even Brienne says a true knight's duty is to protect the weak even if you have to die in the attempt.  As a result of lack of sacrifice, the Saltpans is desolate and burned out, much like the land in total would be if the green god failed to be sacrificed.  Saltpans, literally is a desert, but also may be a play on the word "pan" and the horned god Pan..  Pan also fits well in the green god catagory and he's been made salt.  Salt has been used in religion is sacrificial rituals, but I think it might fit better as making the god Pan into a pillar of salt while his city was destroyed like Sodom and Gomorrah.    

 

And that also brings us to the connection to Ser Shadrich as Howland Reed, already knowing the magic of the crannogmen and student of the green men on the Isle of Faces.  The Isle of Faces is associated with blood sacrifice, possibly human and/or possibly of the green men themselves to power their magic.  Howland Reed is likely a powerful magician with knowledge of blood-powered greenseer magic like the hammer of the waters or maybe something else. :dunno:  But it makes good literary sense a green men-trained, Old Gods magician would be paired up with a green god sacrificial symbol, plus Sandor as a green god who went through his own death and rebirth.  That also brings it back to the OP biblical association of all three (old) "godly" men:  Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.  Those are Babylonian names though!  They have their real Hebrew names, but had to change their names in order to serve King Nebuchadnezzar.  Of course there's the whole burning men in a furnace thing (kinda like wicker men) in the biblical story and Sandor is a burned man.  While it's disputed ancient Celts used wicker men for real human sacrifice, burning the wicker man was a death and rebirth, green god sacrifice ritual.  

         

 

      

Edited by Blue-Eyed Wolf

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@Blue-Eyed Wolf BTW is it a "coincidence" that we have a Sandor serving at the Bloody Gate in the Vale. It's Sandor Frey squiring for Donnel Waynwood, the keeper of the Bloody Gate. That little fact suggests we should expect Sandor to appear in the Vale in a protector role.

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@sweetsunray Well considering he's one of the only two Sandors mentioned in the books...  It's not as much of a flashing neon sign as the gravedigger clues, but yeah probably not a coincidence. :D Maybe it's also funny that this Sandor is a squire, so in the process of becoming a bonafide knight.   

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@sweetsunray Brienne POV in AFFC is a gift that keeps on giving!  Look at this:  

Quote

Ser Hyle gave the big horse an admiring look as he was handing his reins to Brother Gillam. "A handsome beast."
Brother Narbert sighed. "The Seven send us blessings, and the Seven send us trials. Handsome he may be, but Driftwood was surely whelped in hell. When we sought to harness him to a plow he kicked Brother Rawney and broke his shinbone in two places. We had hoped gelding might improve the beast's ill temper, but . . . Brother Gillam, will you show them?"
Brother Gillam lowered his cowl. Underneath he had a mop of blond hair, a tonsured scalp, and a bloodstained bandage where he should have had an ear.

Stranger (black) is renamed Driftwood.  We've already seen how driftwood washes up on the QI, but then the pieces are "polished till they shone a deep gold" and they are transformed into something new like furniture.  Like turning Stranger from black to gold or blonde Driftwood!  And Driftwood is a "handsome beast."  Underneath the blonde hair is a missing ear!  So we got a Stranger/Sandor turned into Driftwood/Byron the beautiful.  Also helps that driftwood is dead like old bones.      

Edited by Blue-Eyed Wolf

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