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hiemal

Nennymoans and merlings; more Patchface tinfoil

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1 hour ago, LmL said:

Yes, I was aware of that, and I just read your remark about Freya on @Seams's puns and wordplay thread. The collection of solar figures with stag antlers are all of high import to me, so I thank you for the reminder. Walder is of course the crappy sort of solar king - he sits in a chair (throne) of black wood. The giant he slew was Robb Stark, because I believe there's some kind of Stark - giant thing going on, or at least a KoW / giant thing. The antler as a weapon recalls the AGOT prologue, and although Walder didn't kill the wolf, we can see it's a modified usage of that theme. King Robert is a solar stag man, and the antler killing the Direwolf is linked to him. Walder plays the same role, solar stag. Of course Walder is old and grey - should look for grey king clues in his chapters, huh? The twins themselves could refer to either a pair of moons or a pair of comets (the split comet, because according to theory the sun split the comet). Robb's army is like a steel snake uncoiling when they cross the Twins the first time, and there's a horned moon in the sky too (which is how I found that scene). Definitely need to reread it

Also, when the Tullys are discussing Edmure marrying a Frey, there's a remark about maybe Cat should marry Walder and become the ninth lady Frey. That makes cat a ninth wanderer coming to kill the eighth. She of courses becomes the Lady version of AA reborn the fire zombie. 

Nice! and thank you for reading that comment. I definitely like the fact that he is Frey and is at a crossing between the living world and the underworld (per @sweetsunray's essay about the North being the underworld) because that links him with both Freya and Mercury since he had a bunch of dead soldiers in his hall and Mercury was a Shepard of dead souls and was a guardian of boundaries. 

When I saw the antler, I was amazed because as you said he didn't kill the wolf but he was operating under Joffery's Baratheon Banner as both a catspaw and an antler/sword. And didn't you mention that Cat observed the Green Fork was black and bubbling the night of the wedding which relates back to your premise of green antler turning blackened.

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On 9/16/2016 at 11:22 PM, LmL said:

We can watch Euron's actions and learn more about the BSE, in my opinion.

Besides Stannis and Prince Daemon we can also look at Ramsay because he stole a mermaid, Donella Manderly who became a Hornwood Moose and is predominately addressed as the Lady of Hornwood. So she is both a fishy person and a horned animal person and was stolen by AA person and killed.  

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4 hours ago, Pain killer Jane said:

Besides Stannis and Prince Daemon we can also look at Ramsay because he stole a mermaid, Donella Manderly who became a Hornwood Moose and is predominately addressed as the Lady of Hornwood. So she is both a fishy person and a horned animal person and was stolen by AA person and killed.  

Oh NICE, love this. I've been pondering Ramsay and the Hornwoods lately. He phrase hornwood is indicative of a link between words and horns, and of course my idea about horned lords being greenseers fits the bill. Also, the wooden crowns are made in imitation of stag antlers / horns, which is the whole idea with these wooden crowns being tied to horned lords. The fact she was a mermaid FIRST, could that be important? Humans come from fish after all, in a round about way (this is also what the Dagon legends are about). Does Donella have any blue roses clues or fire clues? 

 

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On September 19, 2016 at 10:09 AM, Pain killer Jane said:

Nice! and thank you for reading that comment. I definitely like the fact that he is Frey and is at a crossing between the living world and the underworld (per @sweetsunray's essay about the North being the underworld) because that links him with both Freya and Mercury since he had a bunch of dead soldiers in his hall and Mercury was a Shepard of dead souls and was a guardian of boundaries. 

When I saw the antler, I was amazed because as you said he didn't kill the wolf but he was operating under Joffery's Baratheon Banner as both a catspaw and an antler/sword. And didn't you mention that Cat observed the Green Fork was black and bubbling the night of the wedding which relates back to your premise of green antler turning blackened.

I was talking about Cat gazing into her reflection in Renly's green armor and seeing herself as a drowned woman. When Renly is killed shortly after, there's a line about the red tide of Renly's blood drowning out the green and gold I believe, something like that. The tent is at first an "emerald castle, alive with light" and then the shadow assassin comes in and blows out all 12 lights, then snuffs Renly, whose last word is "cold." So there's a lot of "green-away" ideas. Also, Renly's former "knights of summer" are know shadow knights whose upturned lances look like a forest of dead trees.  

I think the Blackwoods are a big clue about the dead tree / undead greenseer idea, as is all references to black wood I believe (Walder sits in a black wooden chair, as does the LC of the KG and a few others). The Blackwoods have that dying tree, which was poisoned by a fiery horse (Bracken sigil depicting the Storm God thunderbolt meteor setting the tree on fire). It's in the process of turning to stone, but ravens still use it (dead greenseer idea again). The scene with Jaime and Tytos will be in an upcoming podcast of mine for this reason, it's pretty great. 

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9 minutes ago, LmL said:

Oh NICE, love this. I've been pondering Ramsay and the Hornwoods lately. He phrase hornwood is indicative of a link between words and horns, and of course my idea about horned lords being greenseers fits the bill. Also, the wooden crowns are made in imitation of stag antlers / horns, which is the whole idea with these wooden crowns being tied to horned lords. The fact she was a mermaid FIRST, could that be important? Humans come from fish after all, in a round about way (this is also what the Dagon legends are about). Does Donella have any blue roses clues or fire clues? 

 

It could be important given the Grey King marrying a mermaid and Durrandon. (On a side note I want to point out the Garden of Gelenei and its gilded tree and silver leaves and the similarities between Gelenei and Elenei- which now that I read Seams thread would mean 'torch egg'). Nissa Nissa could have been a Deep One hybrid or even a Fisher Queen descendant would work with taking fire from the sea. 

I don't remember any blue roses or fire but I do remember Mors Umber (drunken brute- Cersei uses the same words to describe Robert) with his one eye and polar bear pelt asking to marry her but Ramsay stole her away and locked her in a tower where she died.   

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15 minutes ago, LmL said:

I was talking about Cat gazing into her reflection in Renly's green armor and seeing herself as a drowned woman. When Renly is killed shortly after, there's a line about the red tide of Renly's blood drowning out the green and gold I believe, something like that. The tent is at first an "emerald castle, alive with light" and then the shadow assassin comes in and blows out all 12 lights, then snuffs Renly, whose last word is "cold." So there's a lot of "green-away" ideas. Also, Renly's former "knights of summer" are know shadow knights whose upturned lances look like a forest of dead trees.  

I think the Blackwoods are a big clue about the dead tree / undead greenseer idea, as is all references to black wood I believe (Walder sits in a black wooden chair, as does the LC of the KG and a few others). The Blackwoods have that dying tree, which was poisoned by a fiery horse (Bracken sigil depicting the Storm God thunderbolt meteor setting the tree on fire). It's in the process of turning to stone, but ravens still use it (dead greenseer idea again). The scene with Jaime and Tytos will be in an upcoming podcast of mine for this reason, it's pretty great. 

I don't know why I thought it was the Green Fork the night of the wedding. 

I agree with the Blackwood assessment especially if they were the family associated with the Warg King who ruled from Sea Dragon's point. Oh the Brackens and Bittersteel with his bat winged horse spewing fire.  

I am excited for the explanation of the Jaime and Tytos scene. 

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32 minutes ago, Pain killer Jane said:

It could be important given the Grey King marrying a mermaid and Durrandon. (On a side note I want to point out the Garden of Gelenei and its gilded tree and silver leaves and the similarities between Gelenei and Elenei- which now that I read Seams thread would mean 'torch egg'). Nissa Nissa could have been a Deep One hybrid or even a Fisher Queen descendant would work with taking fire from the sea. 

I don't remember any blue roses or fire but I do remember Mors Umber (drunken brute- Cersei uses the same words to describe Robert) with his one eye and polar bear pelt asking to marry her but Ramsay stole her away and locked her in a tower where she died.   

I am wondering if there are two wintery kings - the Nights King, which is the black dragon AA archetype like Stannis and Rhaegar and Ramsay, but also the white dragon type - Bloodraven, maybe the King of Winter, etc. What do you think about that? Robb and Jon might be showing us this, or maybe Jon and Bran.  

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5 minutes ago, LmL said:

I am wondering if there are two wintery kings - the Nights King, which is the black dragon AA archetype like Stannis and Rhaegar and Ramsay, but also the white dragon type - Bloodraven, maybe the King of Winter, etc. What do you think about that? Robb and Jon might be showing us this, or maybe Jon and Bran.  

I would be inclined to agree since Tzcatlipoca (smoking mirror obsidian dude) was associated with black (and yellow) and kingship, sacrifice and jaguars and he ruled in the North. But he was also a rival of Quetzalcoatl who was also an aspect of him but he is white, red and green harpy eagle that ruled the west. 

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2 hours ago, LmL said:

I am wondering if there are two wintery kings - the Nights King, which is the black dragon AA archetype like Stannis and Rhaegar and Ramsay, but also the white dragon type - Bloodraven, maybe the King of Winter, etc. What do you think about that? Robb and Jon might be showing us this, or maybe Jon and Bran.  

I could see that. A king for before the solstice (nox invictus)and one for post-solstice (sol invictus)? Even the direwolves seem to fit.

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2 hours ago, Pain killer Jane said:

I would be inclined to agree since Tzcatlipoca (smoking mirror obsidian dude) was associated with black (and yellow) and kingship, sacrifice and jaguars and he ruled in the North. But he was also a rival of Quetzalcoatl who was also an aspect of him but he is white, red and green harpy eagle that ruled the west. 

 

What do you think of Camazotz and the bats of Harrenhall and in even more approapiately the skeletal ones in Bloodraven's cave?

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3 minutes ago, hiemal said:

What do you think of Camazotz and the bats of Harrenhall and in even more approapiately the skeletal ones in Bloodraven's cave?

Camazotz literally means death bat and he was linked to sacrifice in Mayan mythology so he is not a fruit bat. But then in Mexico, bats are considered to be birds that was transformed by jealousy and vanity. Almost like Lucifer or Satan, a beautiful angel transformed by jealousy and vanity.  

But the bats in Harrenhall; they have rabies..... For real, not even kidding on that. Most of the cases of rabies being transmitted to humans is because a bat bit them. The last Lothston, Mad Danelle was rumored to drink blood and was crazy and yeah I speculated on that thought. And then you have the Whents who are also bats but smaller. 

But I also think Martin is pointing to their unique biology like the sphinx/Alleras and then the carnivores evolving from herbivores thing he has going on. 

26 minutes ago, hiemal said:

It just hit me that Quetzalcoatl could easily be seen as a fish with feathers. Add a dragon as a bird with scales and we have a verse.

The Leafy Sea Dragon can be considered a fish with feathers. And then the angel fish whose beautiful feathers are poisonous barbs. 

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23 minutes ago, Pain killer Jane said:

 

But the bats in Harrenhall; they have rabies..... For real, not even kidding on that. Most of the cases of rabies being transmitted to humans is because a bat bit them. The last Lothston, Mad Danelle was rumored to drink blood and was crazy and yeah I speculated on that thought. And then you have the Whents who are also bats but smaller. 

But I also think Martin is pointing to their unique biology like the sphinx/Alleras and then the carnivores evolving from herbivores thing he has going on. 

The Leafy Sea Dragon can be considered a fish with feathers. And then the angel fish whose beautiful feathers are poisonous barbs. 

That's very good! I love it. It puts me in mind of basilisk blood.

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1 hour ago, hiemal said:

That's very good! I love it. It puts me in mind of basilisk blood.

I have another one. Bat guano was originally used in the production of gunpowder if you want to take the stance that dragons are nukes/guns/weapons....

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9 hours ago, Pain killer Jane said:

I have another one. Bat guano was originally used in the production of gunpowder if you want to take the stance that dragons are nukes/guns/weapons....

Saltpetre! That sounds like there should something for the Puns and Wordplay thread there. Peter's salt? How about the chemical formulaL KNO3- to "know"? Hmmmmm.

Re: rabies

It reminds me, after some thought, of the "hydrophobia" of the 1,000 Islands and the sharp-toothed women who dwell there as well as both of the Mountain and his black blood.

 

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57 minutes ago, hiemal said:

Saltpetre! That sounds like there should something for the Puns and Wordplay thread there. Peter's salt? How about the chemical formulaL KNO3- to "know"? Hmmmmm.

Re: rabies

It reminds me, after some thought, of the "hydrophobia" of the 1,000 Islands and the sharp-toothed women who dwell there as well as both of the Mountain and his black blood.

 

Lol Petyr's Salt! And yeah I know KNO3. I like the irony that both KNO3 and nitroglycerin (the glycerin is sweet and order less) are organic substances that are dangerous. Random thought that's probably why Stannis keeps referring to Renly's peach, the pit is pure arsenic aside from the usual interpretations of that scene. 

Back to Petyr's Salt. Well we have Saltpans the town. I wonder if there is reference to Petyr having black powder no. 1. I would think the alchemist guild would have caught on but I wonder what hell would be unleashed having guns against dragons. It would probably be like one movie. I can't remember the name right now but humanity was on the brink and they were fighting dragons with tanks. Anyway....

the hydrophobia....hmm... You know I never thought of it that way. I knew they were afraid of the water but I just thought it was because like the Naathi they were afraid of what came from the water. They almost seem like fish hybrids in their description and therefore probably terrified of the deep ones, per Craster and Nimble Dick, Lord Borrell, they eat the boys and mate with the girls. 

I like how they are vastly different to the other island nations such as the summer islands, Naath, Leng, Lys, Skull Island. There is probably something there probably the deep ones rising and wrecking havoc on the surface but I will probably have to research. I definitely see the volcanic, fire, water, incest practicing culture Martin modeled the Valyrians after. 

 

 

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RE: the Patchface's riddle:

It's  funny.  I see it completely differently to most of you!  

Basically, I don't necessarily see 'the sea' or 'deep ones,' etc., as literally...

Silly Gilly gem by D&D:  

Spoiler

'Did I ever tell you I used to think the sea was called the see because it was nothing but water as far as the eye could see?'

 

On 9/17/2016 at 4:13 PM, Little Scribe of Naath said:

The most mysterious of all Patches' prophecies:

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Under the sea it snows up, and the rain is dry as bone. I know. I know…"

"Under the sea, you fall up. I know. I know…"

Why is it all upside down, under the sea? Or is it a metaphor for something else?  

'Falling up' is a metaphor for flying.  (I agree with @LynnS in this).  That's how Bran learnt how to fly -- by falling.  

'Flying' should also not be taken literally exclusively:  

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A Storm of Swords - Samwell I

It felt more like he was falling down than walking, falling endlessly but never hitting the ground, just falling forward and forward. I have to stop, it hurts too much. I'm so cold and tired, I need to sleep, just a little sleep beside a fire, and a bite to eat that isn't frozen.

But if he stopped he died. He knew that. 

Reminiscent of the ultimatum given to Bran by the three-eyed-crow:  Fly or Die.  Because Winter is Coming ('Winter' is literally pursuing Sam at this point).

'Snowing up' is a metaphor for the dead rising (many of them are ice/snow-mantled creatures), or an explosion of some sort.

The bone might have something to do with weirwoods.  Weirwoods burning, raining ashes maybe...Or some kind of volcanic action, as some of you have suggested (maybe the epicenter of the whole melt-down, or -up, is located under the Winterfell crypts, then the literal and figurative 'bones' of crypts and godswood would indeed be flying sky-high!)  

GRRM seems to equate ash with snow below.  In the same passage, note how ashes flying up switches 'all at once' into snow falling, lending further credence to my above-mentioned hypothesis.  The 'chimney' may also be a volcanic image.

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A Storm of Swords - Davos IV

"You saw it, sire?" It was not like Stannis Baratheon to lie about such a thing.

"With mine own eyes. After the battle, when I was lost to despair, the Lady Melisandre bid me gaze into the hearthfire. The chimney was drawing strongly, and bits of ash were rising from the fire. I stared at them, feeling half a fool, but she bid me look deeper, and . . . the ashes were white, rising in the updraft, yet all at once it seemed as if they were falling. Snow, I thought. Then the sparks in the air seemed to circle, to become a ring of torches, and I was looking through the fire down on some high hill in a forest. The cinders had become men in black behind the torches, and there were shapes moving through the snow. For all the heat of the fire, I felt a cold so terrible I shivered, and when I did the sight was gone, the fire but a fire once again. But what I saw was real, I'd stake my kingdom on it."

"And have," said Melisandre.

On 9/11/2016 at 7:12 PM, @hiemal said:

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"It is always summer under the sea. The merwives wear nennymoans in their hair and weave gowns of silver seaweed. I know. I know…" ACoK

Patchface's ravings always fascinate me and boredom has had me turning this one about and look for meaning and trying to land another wallop on my favorite dead seahorse:

Great topic!  One in which we can really immerse ourselves...

I tend to write extensively, and in a style which is not everyone's cup of tea, so I'm going to make it easy for you, by giving you the 'tl;dr' first, followed by 'the long version' for those of you who are up to it.

 

Summary:

 

  • Jon quips Melisandre sees fools in her fires:
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A Dance with Dragons - Jon X

Melisandre's face darkened. "That creature is dangerous. Many a time I have glimpsed him in my flames. Sometimes there are skulls about him, and his lips are red with blood."

A wonder you haven't had the poor man burned. All it would take was a word in the queen's ear, and Patchface would feed her fires. "You see fools in your fire, but no hint of Stannis?"

  • When she looks for Stannis, the ‘fools’ she sees are these: Patchface surrounded by skulls; Bran and Bloodraven in the ‘cave of skulls’
  • 'Wise fools'=Greenseers…'clever fool, clever man, clever bird'…Bran, Brynden, Bloodraven, three-eyed crow, Crow's Eye
  • 'Fools in the fire' (greenseeing implies harnessing powers beyond their control, and getting burnt in the process)
  • For the record, I don't draw a distinction between 'heretic' vs. 'non-heretic' greenseers (I guess I'm just 'heretic' like that..!)  All greenseeing (or its equivalent by other names) is risky.  All greenseers are potentially fiery.  (e.g. We consider Bran to be 'good' -- or at least definitely 'better' than Euron the 'anti-Bran'-- but he regularly skinchanges Hodor, an abomination; the first time this happens, it's inspired by lightning, so fire is present, and Bran -- whose fall from the tower is also likened to a transfiguring lightning strike -- is playing with fire)
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A Clash of Kings - Davos III

He grimaced. Burning pitch was one thing, wildfire quite another. Evil stuff, and well-nigh unquenchable. Smother it under a cloak and the cloak took fire; slap at a fleck of it with your palm and your hand was aflame. "Piss on wildfire and your cock burns off," old seamen liked to say.

In this analogy, if navigating the fraught waters of greenseeing is like navigating a green sea (of fire and water), then the navigators, the 'seamen,' are the greenseers.

Quote

... Men wreathed in green flame leapt into the water, shrieking like nothing human. On the walls of King's Landing, spitfires were belching death, and the great trebuchets behind the Mud Gate were throwing boulders. One the size of an ox crashed down between Black Betha and Wraith, rocking both ships and soaking every man on deck. Another, not much smaller, found Bold Laughter. The Velaryon galley exploded like a child's toy dropped from a tower, spraying splinters as long as a man's arm.

Bran is both the toy dropped from a tower (the plaything of another) as well as the child playing dangerous games.

Quote

A Feast for Crows - Alayne I

 A falcon soared above the frozen waterfall, blue wings spread wide against the morning sky. Would that I had wings as well.

She rested her hands on the carved stone balustrade and made herself peer over the edge. She could see Sky six hundred feet below, and the stone steps carved into the mountain, the winding way that led past Snow and Stone all the way down to the valley floor. She could see the towers and keeps of the Gates of the Moon, as small as a child's toys. Around the walls the hosts of Lords Declarant were stirring, emerging from their tents like ants from an anthill. If only they were truly ants, she thought, we could step on them and crush them.

This is Bran's vantage point from his AGOT climbing days, heralding the perspective of a greenseer.  A greenseer is like a child playing with toys.

  • Patchface is a wise fool-inverse Hand-'reborn' greenseer figure
  • He has piebald slave brand markings linking him to Corvids and greenseers.  Greenseers play dual roles of slaves and enslavers.

  • He’s been to the bottom of the sea and back.  Analogous to Bran 'travelling' to the deep north and back with the 'three-eyed crow', having gazed into the Heart of Winter.  

Compare Bran's vision of the deep north, to Davos's description of what might lie on the bottom of the ocean in the deep south:

Quote

A Game of Thrones - Bran III

Because winter is coming.

Bran looked at the crow on his shoulder, and the crow looked back. It had three eyes, and the third eye was full of a terrible knowledge. Bran looked down. There was nothing below him now but snow and cold and death, a frozen wasteland where jagged blue-white spires of ice waited to embrace him. They flew up at him like spears. He saw the bones of a thousand other dreamers impaled upon their points. He was desperately afraid.

"Can a man still be brave if he's afraid?" he heard his own voice saying, small and far away.

 

Here, Davos warns what lurks if one sails 'too far to the south':

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A Storm of Swords - Davos II

"Just so, and burned them, as she will burn you. If you kill the red woman, they will burn you for revenge, and if you fail to kill her, they will burn you for the trying. She will sing and you will scream, and then you will die. And you have only just come back to life!"

"And this is why," said Davos. "To do this thing. To make an end of Melisandre of Asshai and all her works. Why else would the sea have spit me out? You know Blackwater Bay as well as I do, Salla. No sensible captain would ever take his ship through the spears of the merling king and risk ripping out his bottom. Shayala's Dance should never have come near me."

"A wind," insisted Salladhor Saan loudly, "an ill wind, is all. A wind drove her too far to the south."

  • Think of Patchface's drowning as a 'coma dream' from which he's emerged to report back on his greenseeing visions (a coma is a kind of 'near-death' experience like drowning, from which one may be resuscitated)
  • His riddles have a prophetic, apocalyptic flavor
  • The common element in his ravings is ‘under the see…I know I know’  In order to understand the riddles as a whole, we have to explain this:
  • 'under the sea'—sea of trees—greenseeing: cardinal pun on deep green sea vs. deep green see(ing).  This is the central tenet of my thesis around which I've built my interpretation of the riddle(s).
  • Whatever your specific interpretation of 'sea' may be, being inundated by something, or someone, is akin to being flooded by a sea, so it's bound to refer to something apocalyptic (which I'm additionally positing has a connection to greenseeing)
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A Game of Thrones - Daenerys III

"The Dothraki sea," Ser Jorah Mormont said as he reined to a halt beside her on the top of the ridge. Beneath them, the plain stretched out immense and empty, a vast flat expanse that reached to the distant horizon and beyond. It was a sea, Dany thought. Past here, there were no hills, no mountains, no trees nor cities nor roads, only the endless grasses, the tall blades rippling like waves when the winds blew. "It's so green," she said.

"Here and now," Ser Jorah agreed. "You ought to see it when it blooms, all dark red flowers from horizon to horizon, like a sea of blood. Come the dry season, and the world turns the color of old bronze. And this is only hranna, child. There are a hundred kinds of grass out there, grasses as yellow as lemon and as dark as indigo, blue grasses and orange grasses and grasses like rainbows. Down in the Shadow Lands beyond Asshai, they say there are oceans of ghost grass,taller than a man on horseback with stalks as pale as milkglass. It murders all other grass and glows in the dark with the spirits of the damned. The Dothraki claim that someday ghost grass will cover the entire world, and then all life will end."

That thought gave Dany the shivers. "I don't want to talk about that now," she said. "It's so beautiful here, I don't want to think about everything dying."

  •  
  • 'I know I know'—'you know nothing, Jon Snow' – 'the third eye was full of a terrible knowledge'
  • 'Summer under the sea'—caves of the Children—Bran the Summer child and his wolf Summer underground—Bran the son/sun drowned in a sunless sea=Winter/Long Night and hope for resurrection in Spring/Dawn
  • 'Merwives'—Sum-mer wives—greenseers captivated (lured and enthralled) by the trees/Children of the Forest (Bran is wed to the tree; he’s the bride, not the groom)  Alternatively, it could be argued that the Children represent the 'merwives,' which also works, but I prefer my inversion (in line with GRRM's pattern of typically subverting the predictability of gender relations so that e.g Jon is the 'maid' with Ygritte playing the role of 'thief', Jaime-Brienne ('I was chastising my wife; I thought she was chastising you') etc.
  • 'Nennymoans in their hair'—harnessing oneself to forces that appear very attractive (like flowers), but are beyond ones control (carnivorous creatures shooting electric shocks and poison...wearing the nennymoans is like toying with anemones -- this is the 'playing-with-fire' part) -- weirwood roots/anemone or kraken tentacles/antlers—literary nod to the Lady of the Lake, Nimue/Ninniane/Nineveh, who held Merlin captive in a cave/tree/underwater—the Children or Singers (those who sing=those who moan!)
  • 'Weave gowns of silver seaweed'—agree with @LynnSand Seams, Magic/spells/singing/the True Tongue (singers have 'silver tongues')/possible connection to the Others—love @Seams anagram of 'silver seaweed'= ‘wise red leaves’!  The leaves are the greenseers' wedding cloaks.
  • Agree 'silver' is a double-edged sword: at once conferring the power to harm as well as heal 
  • In my schema, inverse gender relations prevail!  
Quote

A Feast for Crows - Samwell IV

What fools we were, who thought ourselves so wise! The error crept in from the translation. Dragons are neither male nor female

And neither, I surmise, are merwives or greenseers.

  • Besides Lyanna and Jon and Bael's daughter of Winterfell whoever she was, the 'sweetest flower' plucked from Winterfell by a 'singer' is Bran!  They all went South for the winter, except for sweet summer child Bran, making him the solitary winter rose, from a certain perspective.  When he went North, that's when everything really 'went south' (thanks @sweetsunray for reminding me of that idiom in your 'chthonic essay' series).

 

The long version

 

First, let's look at a few descriptions of this riddler

'Patchface,' whom I'll show has a marked greenseer resemblance, particularly to the so-called 'last greenseer' Bloodraven:

Quote

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A Clash of Kings - Prologue

The fool turned his patched and piebald head to watch Pylos climb the steep iron steps to the rookery. His bells rang with the motion. "Under the sea, the birds have scales for feathers," he said, clang-a-langing. "I know, I know, oh, oh, oh."

Of interest, perhaps, besides its onomatopoeic function in conjunction with Patchface's bells, 'clanging' is a psychiatric term where patients engage in a special kind of wordplay, which may include neologisms, associating words primarily based on their similar sounds (rhyming, alliterating, assonance, consonance, etc.) rather than their logical meaning.  As an example thereof, quoted online:  “He went in entry in trying tieing sighing dying ding-dong dangles dashing dancing ding-a-ling!”   In comparison, some of Patchface's utterances would also fall under this rubric.  Besides this device being used in order to convey the impression of mental illness in the speaker-- the 'fool' is purported to be 'mad' -- we're presuming that GRRM has a deeper narrative purpose in mind with his own poetic 'jangling clang-a-langings,' so let's try to uncover some sense from his apparent nonsense!

On 9/18/2016 at 6:05 PM, hiemal said:

.Patchface-as-the-anti-Ariel ...

Ariel's Song

" Full fathom five thy father lies;
Of his bones are coral made;
Those are pearls that were his eyes;
Nothing of him that doth fade,
But doth suffer a sea-change
Into something rich and strange.
Sea-nymphs hourly ring his knell:
Ding-dong.
Hark! now I hear them — Ding-dong, bell.
"

...William Shakespeare

I don't think the connection you're making is 'tinfoil.'  I too long ago recognized Shakespeare's influence in GRRM's work (it's already tacitly acknowledged by the author as early as the prologue in the figure of 'Will' as @evita mgfs has noted) -- it's impossible to write in English without in some way (even if not realizing it) alluding to the best writer there's ever been in the language, and in some way attempting to escape his imposing shadow, and surpass him.  Having recognized certain 'Tempest' elements in @LmL 's ideas, I recently sent him Prospero's speech, of which I was immediately reminded upon reading his last essay on the Greenseers:

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Ye elves of hills, brooks, standing lakes and groves,
And ye that on the sands with printless foot
Do chase the ebbing Neptune and do fly him
When he comes back; you demi-puppets that
By moonshine do the green sour ringlets make,
Whereof the ewe not bites, and you whose pastime
Is to make midnight mushrooms, that rejoice
To hear the solemn curfew; by whose aid,
Weak masters though ye be, I have bedimm'd
The noontide sun, call'd forth the mutinous winds,
And 'twixt the green sea and the azured vault
Set roaring war:  to the dread rattling thunder
Have I given fire and rifted Jove's stout oak
With his own bolt; the strong-based promontory
Have I made shake and by the spurs pluck'd up
The pine and cedar: graves at my command
Have waked their sleepers
, oped, and let 'em forth
By my so potent art. But this rough magic
I here abjure
, and, when I have required
Some heavenly music, which even now I do,
To work mine end upon their senses that
This airy charm is for, I'll break my staff,
Bury it certain fathoms in the earth,
And deeper than did ever plummet sound
I'll drown my book.

Shakespeare (The Tempest - Act 5, Scene 1)

There's a lot in this passage, so I'll not unpack it at length, suffice to highlight that in GRRM's terms Prospero would be a sorcerer, greenseer figure, who has allied himself with demiurges of  the natural world ('elves' like the Children, old gods perhaps) in order to harness the elements -- all of which are included here (water, air, fire, earth) -- to his will, with powerful and destructive effects.  Prospero's main sidekick is Ariel, whom he rescued from imprisonment by a witch in a tree (sound familiar..?), only to enthrall him in his service in turn.  I was also interested to learn that as a mythological figure 'Ariel' is an archangel overseeing nature and regulating the underworld, his name literally translating as 'lion of god,' 'altar,' or 'fire- hearth of god.'  Thus, by imprisoning Ariel in a tree -- we have the burning-man in-the-tree archetype, which I consider the 'take-away' message of @LmL's latest essay.  Prospero, by 'releasing' Ariel from the tree and indenturing him for his own purposes has in essence stolen the fire of the gods.  Shakespeare expresses this cardinal transgression (call it 'human ingenuity' or 'original sin' if you will) more eloquently than I could, especially in the line 'to the dread rattling thunder have I given fire and rifted Jove's stout oak with his own bolt.'  By usurping Jove's power, specifically stealing the thunder and lightning from the god of the sky, the king of the gods himself (Jove is also called Jupiter or Zeus), Prospero has the hubris to claim that title for himself, even going so far as to turn that power around on the god and his creation!  Using Jove's own thunderbolt to rift his own oak (the oak tree was Jove's sacred tree, probably because, as @sweetsunray has noted, it's the tree most likely to be struck by lightning even compared to other trees of similar stature), Prospero thus redirects the fire of heaven, capturing it for his own purposes in a tree.  In GRRM's opus, the figure who embodies the sky, lightning, tree and overreaching 'naughtiness' more than any other is this one:

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A Game of Thrones - Bran II

Old Nan told him a story about a bad little boy who climbed too high and was struck down by lightning, and how afterward the crows came to peck out his eyes.

Like Bran, the source of Prospero's power resides in a tree, visually represented by the wooden staff he carries (equivalent to a magic wand or sword).  Regretting his 'rough magic' and the strife he's caused, he vows to break and bury his staff, as well as drown his magic book of spells, in an attempt to set things right and make amends.  It's interesting that Shakespeare parallels burying something underground with drowning somebody underwater -- a point I will be making myself for the purposes of my commentary -- for example he even uses a unit of measurement for water, the 'fathom,' to describe the depth underground.  Ironically, Prospero imagines banishing magic underground or underwater, both realms of which figure as prominent locations for concentrating magic in GRRM's world!   Anyway, as a solution to 'the problem of magic', the reference to burying or drowning seems to contradict that given earlier, where Prospero indicates that he also possesses the power over life and death, 'graves at my command have waked their sleepers, oped, and let 'em forth...' Resurrection is the ultimate 'inversion,' isn't it?  

Let's return to Patchface, messenger from the nether realms:

 

Clever Fools

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Even for a fool, Patchface was a sorry thing. Perhaps once he could evoke gales of laughter with a quip, but the sea had taken that power from him, along with half his wits and all his memory

To start, this stark reminder of GRRM's message of caution, that 'resurrections,' of which Patchface and Beric are prime examples, always come at a steep price.

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A Clash of Kings - Prologue

"A few words.  As I said, they are clever, these birds."

"Clever bird, clever man, clever clever fool," said Patchface, jangling. "Oh, clever clever clever fool." He began to sing. "The shadows come to dance, my lord, dance my lord, dance my lord," he sang, hopping from one foot to the other and back again. "The shadows come to stay, my lord, stay my lord, stay my lord." He jerked his head with each word, the bells in his antlers sending up a clangor.

The white raven screamed and went flapping away to perch on the iron railing of the rookery stairs. Shireen seemed to grow smaller. "He sings that all the time. I told him to stop but he won't. It makes me scared. Make him stop."

Patchface has a 'piebald' head (see previous quote).  Of all the descriptors he could have used, why would GRRM include that obscure adjective?  In addition to evoking an imaginative picture of patchy alopecia (patchy balding) and scarring, brought about by his trauma, 'piebald' technically indicates an asymmetrical pattern of pigmented spots (usually black, brown or yellow) on a white background, found in certain animals, including birds, hence 'magpie,' from which the word 'piebald' is derived.  A 'magpie' -- known to be one of the most intelligent birds in the world -- is a member of the Corvidae family, which also includes ravens and crows, both species of which play important roles in GRRM's story, as is being discussed on the recent Heresy thread, 'the crows.'  So, straightaway, this 'fool' is directly linked to both ravens and cleverness, ironically.

Talking of clever inversions, the traditional literary function of the figure of a 'fool' is serving in his relationship to a king as a kind of 'inverse' Hand of the king, constantly by his side 'advising' him, albeit often cryptically, and in an unorthodox manner, by singing, riddling, juggling, and performing magic tricks and diversions.  The fool is a boundary-pushing trickster figure, in line with @LmL's latest idea of 'naughty greenseers.'  With this picture in mind, do we know of another very clever 'crow,' 'magpie,' or 'raven', moreover with a distinctive pattern of skin pigmentation, with an unusual 'horned' headdress producing 'music' akin to Patchface when he turns his head and talks?  Can we think of a kind of 'singer,' one well-versed in intrigue, magic and other 'naughty' unorthodoxy, who served as a notorious Hand to several kings?  A veritable 'patch-faced' man, who has been known to 'change his face' on many an occasion, inhabiting many guises; a man associated with the 'faceless and nameless gods' of the woods, stones, and water?  Indeed, Patchface bears an intentional resemblance to Bloodraven -- whose mother was a Blackwood (more ravens perching on trees...), the white-haired, black-sorcerer, albino Lord in patchy, tattered once-ebony finery, ensconced in his latest 'reincarnation' in a lattice of white weirwood roots and black earth -- -- note, the dizzying accumulation of black-and-white imagery: i.e. 'piebald.'  

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ADWD-Bran II

"No, boy," the child said. "Behind you." She lifted her torch higher, and the light seemed to shift and change. One moment the flames burned orange and yellow, filling the cavern with a ruddy glow; then all the colors faded, leaving only black and white. Behind them Meera gasped. Hodor turned.

Before them a pale lord in ebon finery sat dreaming in a tangled nest of roots, a woven weirwood throne that embraced his withered limbs as a mother does a child.

His body was so skeletal and his clothes so rotted that at first Bran took him for another corpse, a dead man propped up so long that the roots had grown over him, under him, and through him. What skin the corpse lord showed was white, save for a bloody blotch that crept up his neck onto his cheek. His white hair was fine and thin as root hair and long enough to brush against the earthen floor. Roots coiled around his legs like wooden serpents. One burrowed through his breeches into the desiccated flesh of his thigh, to emerge again from his shoulder. A spray of dark red leaves sprouted from his skull, and grey mushrooms spotted his brow. A little skin remained, stretched across his face, tight and hard as white leather, but even that was fraying, and here and there the brown and yellow bone beneath was poking through.

"Are you the three-eyed crow?" Bran heard himself say. A three-eyed crow should have three eyes. He has only one, and that one red. Bran could feel the eye staring at him, shining like a pool of blood in the torchlight. Where his other eye should have been, a thin white root grew from an empty socket, down his cheek, and into his neck.

"A … crow?" The pale lord's voice was dry. His lips moved slowly, as if they had forgotten how to form words.

  Like Patchface and Beric, the 'rebirth' has compromised his memory.  Or perhaps one might say that one 'language' has been gained at the expense of the loss of another.

 

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A Dance with Dragons - Bran III

The great cavern that opened on the abyss was as black as pitch, black as tar, blacker than the feathers of a crow. Light entered as a trespasser, unwanted and unwelcome, and soon was gone again; cookfires, candles, and rushes burned for a little while, then guttered out again, their brief lives at an end.

The singers made Bran a throne of his own, like the one Lord Brynden sat, white weirwood flecked with red, dead branches woven through living roots. They placed it in the great cavern by the abyss, where the black air echoed to the sound of running water far below. Of soft grey moss they made his seat. Once he had been lowered into place, they covered him with warm furs.

There he sat, listening to the hoarse whispers of his teacher. "Never fear the darkness, Bran." The lord's words were accompanied by a faint rustling of wood and leaf, a slight twisting of his head. "The strongest trees are rooted in the dark places of the earth. Darkness will be your cloak, your shield, your mother's milk. Darkness will make you strong."

In this passage, the characteristic piebald pattern of black, brown and yellow patches (in addition to red) on white is evident, notable among them Bloodraven's characteristic raven-shaped, red birthmark contrasted against his pale skin (of the type famously worn by Gorbachev, commonly called a 'port-wine' stain, Latin nevus flammeus, or 'firemark' -- how fitting for an old dragon!)  Analogously, Patchface has a red-and-green slave tattoo on his face (and, as I'll discuss, a greenseer is a sort of slave and slaver) as well as being described, like Bloodraven, as a corpse who has somehow arisen from the dead.  As I've already mentioned, notice how the articulation of 'the lord's words are accompanied by the faint rustling of wood and leaf' on turning his head and speaking, which echoes Patchface's antlered bells highlighting his every word.

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A Clash of Kings - Prologue

Patchface had come to them as a boy. Lord Steffon of cherished memory had found him in Volantis, across the narrow sea. The king—the old king, Aerys II Targaryen, who had not been quite so mad in those days—had sent his lordship to seek a bride for Prince Rhaegar, who had no sisters to wed. "We have found the most splendid fool," he wrote Cressen, a fortnight before he was to return home from his fruitless mission. "Only a boy, yet nimble as a monkey and witty as a dozen courtiers. He juggles and riddles and does magic, and he can sing prettily in four tongues. We have bought his freedom and hope to bring him home with us. Robert will be delighted with him, and perhaps in time he will even teach Stannis how to laugh."

It saddened Cressen to remember that letter. No one had ever taught Stannis how to laugh, least of all the boy Patchface. The storm came up suddenly, howling, and Shipbreaker Bay proved the truth of its name. The lord's two-masted galley Windproud broke up within sight of his castle. From its parapets his two eldest sons had watched as their father's ship was smashed against the rocks and swallowed by the waters. A hundred oarsmen and sailors went down with Lord Steffon Baratheon and his lady wife, and for days thereafter every tide left a fresh crop of swollen corpses on the strand below Storm's End.

The boy washed up on the third day.

Maester Cressen had come down with the rest, to help put names to the dead. When they found the fool he was naked, his skin white and wrinkled and powdered with wet sand. Cressen had thought him another corpse, but when Jommy grabbed his ankles to drag him off to the burial wagon, the boy coughed water and sat up. To his dying day, Jommy had sworn that Patchface's flesh was clammy cold.

No one ever explained those two days the fool had been lost in the sea. The fisherfolk liked to say a mermaid had taught him to breathe water in return for his seed. Patchface himself had said nothing. The witty, clever lad that Lord Steffon had written of never reached Storm's End; the boy they found was someone else, broken in body and mind, hardly capable of speech, much less of wit. Yet his fool's face left no doubt of who he was. It was the fashion in the Free City of Volantis to tattoo the faces of slaves and servants; from neck to scalp the boy's skin had been patterned in squares of red and green motley.

Note, the drowned men washing up on the shore are referred to as a 'crop of corpses,' as if they were plants being harvested by someone for some possibly nefarious purpose.  Similarly, the children are 'farming' and 'reaping' the crop of greenseer half-tree half-corpses in their exotic underground 'garden'.

The antlered headdress which Patchface wears can be conceptualized, among other things, as a tree branch, on which birds are known to perch and congregate in numbers (e,g, at 'Whitetree' and 'Raventree Hall'), making the piebald, singing 'fool' both tree and corvid simultaneously. Here is a quote where ravens actually perch on a rack of antlers, driving home the parallel:

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A Dance with Dragons - Bran I

From a nearby oak a raven quorked, and Bran heard the sound of wings as another of the big black birds flapped down to land beside it. By day only half a dozen ravens stayed with them, flitting from tree to tree or riding on the antlers of the elk. The rest of the murder flew ahead or lingered behind. But when the sun sank low they would return, descending from the sky on night-black wings until every branch of every tree was thick with them for yards around. Some would fly to the ranger and mutter at him, and it seemed to Bran that he understood their quorks and squawks. They are his eyes and ears. They scout for him, and whisper to him of dangers ahead and behind.

This is an analogy for greenseeing.  Above ground, the antlers or branches are like antennae picking up and transmitting the messages, much as below ground the greenseers are hooked up to the weirwood roots via which they hear the singers' whispers and see the prophetic visions of the future -- 'dangers ahead' -- and the past -- 'behind'. 

Thus, one figure may fulfil dual roles of percher and 'perch[ee]', which we've encountered in conjunction with greenseers and their enmeshed 'symbiotic' relation to the tree/ravens/singers-- in which the respective figures assume the roles of host, guest, messenger, conduit, parasite, master and servant all in one.  In a world where 'up is down,' and vice versa, the horned headdress, instead of representing a branching canopy above-ground, becomes a branching root system underground.  Bloodraven (aka Brynden) and Brandon, both of whom have deliberately been given names by the author meaning 'raven,' and have extensive raven/crow associations, thus perch underground on their branches (as surely as they are perched upon), channeling communications and engaging in their paradoxical power of rooted 'flight'.  Although distinguishable entities, 'bird' and 'tree,' operate as rather grisly extensions of one another, so it's difficult to tell who is beholden to whom, and to what extent respectively, in the arrangement.  

 

The Wedding

Rather ominously, it's also configured as a 'wedding' -- Bran's initiation with the sacrificial 'bole' is referred to as his marriage to the tree.  Could Bran and the other greenseers 'lured' and 'captured' by the tree and/or the Children of the forest be interpreted as the 'merwives' of Patchface's riddle, making the Children the 'nennymoans'-- or do I have it back-to-front? 

As I'll be demonstrating throughout, the greenseeing conglomerate, especially but not exclusively in the north, is metaphorically represented as a sea environment, so encountering 'merling' figures etc. in this context is not outside the realm of possibility.  Accordingly, the moaning nennys ('moaning' evoking their song) are akin to the sirens of mythology, particularly the Lady of the Lake of Arthurian legend, Nimue (usually pronounced 'Nim-moo-aye', sometimes 'Nim-ewe-aye'; also sometimes called 'Ninnianne', 'Nineveh', among other permutations, to which I believe 'Nennymoan' is a nod from GRRM) beckoning the wizard with her entrancing come-hither song.  Sirens are traditionally associated with water of some kind, usually luring sailors at sea either protecting or shipwrecking them, but have also been characterized as nymphs of streams and lakes.  Nimue is associated with a lake and underground cavern, which seems apt in our context.

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A Dance with Dragons - Bran III

Sometimes the sound of song would drift up from someplace far below. The children of the forest, Old Nan would have called the singers, but those who sing the song of earth was their own name for themselves, in the True Tongue that no human man could speak.

 

A Dance with Dragons - Bran II

"Fire burns them. Fire is always hungry."

That was not Arya's voice, nor any child's. It was a woman's voice, high and sweet, with a strange music in it like none that he had ever heard and a sadness that he thought might break his heart. Bran squinted, to see her better. It was a girl, but smaller than Arya, her skin dappled like a doe's beneath a cloak of leaves. Her eyes were queer—large and liquid, gold and green, slitted like a cat's eyes. No one has eyes like that. Her hair was a tangle of brown and red and gold, autumn colors, with vines and twigs and withered flowers woven through it.

While it's tempting to think of Leaf on one level as the 'merwife' wearing 'nennymoans in her hair' (note, they are 'withered flowers') from this description, I think on a deeper level she and her magical ilk themselves represent the 'nennymoans' who get in the hair, and minds, of the greenseers, entangling them in the weirwood network.  Like a merling, however, she does indeed have a beautiful, haunting voice in which one could lose oneself.  A brief review of mermaid/-man and selkie mythology reveals that the relationship between the siren and the one attracted by her or his call is more complicated than it seems, particularly when it comes to determining who is captured by whom.  First, the siren attracts her/his object (or perhaps the object is responsible for attracting the siren's attention, who's to say..?), who then likewise pursues and attempts to possess the former.  In some accounts, the siren entraps him/her physically in some way, preventing him/her from leaving the 'marriage', while in other narratives the reverse is true, so that for example by hiding the skin of a selkie, or taking away the mermaid's tail (as in the tale of The Little Mermaid), the siren is prevented from returning to the water, and is 'tricked' into staying in the marriage.  In Bran's case, he embodies elements of both siren and her object, which we'll discuss.  

 

Let's consider ‘Those who Moan’:

 

As is becoming evident, GRRM liberally peppers the landscape with multiple 'entrances to the underworld,' representing crossings/intersections between the living and dead, of which one is Norvos, with this suggestive reference to 'ghosts who moan':

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A Game of Thrones - Daenerys III

They crossed the rolling hills of Norvos, past terraced farms and small villages where the townsfolk watched anxiously from atop white stucco walls. They forded three wide placid rivers and a fourth that was swift and narrow and treacherous, camped beside a high blue waterfall, skirted the tumbled ruins of a vast dead city where ghosts were said to moan among blackened marble columns. 

In an inversion of the Norvosi scene, the cave of singers in the north, and greenseeing itself, can also be considered 'the ruins of a vast dead city where ghosts moan among marble columns' -- except, because it is an inverted or subverted reality, the city and the river is located underground, beneath the rolling hills instead of above, and the columns providing both the architectural backbone for the singers -- the 'moaners' for my purposes -- as well as the conduit for their song, their instrument, are composed of white weirwood instead of blackened marble (GRRM's use of the word 'blackened' instead of 'black' implying that the marble might once have been white like the weirwood, anyway).  As has been suggested in the speculations surrounding Nagga's bones, petrified weirwood might also become 'blackened' with time or fire, etc.

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There were more side passages after that, more chambers, and Bran heard dripping water somewhere to his right. When he looked off that way, he saw eyes looking back at them, slitted eyes that glowed bright, reflecting back the torchlight. More children, he told himself, the girl is not the only one, but Old Nan's tale of Gendel's children came back to him as well.

The roots were everywhere, twisting through earth and stone, closing off some passages and holding up the roofs of others. All the color is gone, Bran realized suddenly. The world was black soil and white wood. The heart tree at Winterfell had roots as thick around as a giant's legs, but these were even thicker. And Bran had never seen so many of them. There must be a whole grove of weirwoods growing up above us.

While we're on the subject of 'moaning nennys', let's remember that it was indeed a 'moaning' woman who set Bran on his greenseeing journey in the first place:

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A Game of Thrones - Bran II

There were soft, wet sounds...

... the woman started to moan, low in her throat...her voice was low and weak...

...Her hands buried themselves in his hair, his tangled golden hair, and pulled his face down to her breast.

I think Jaime is entangled with a nennymoan...I mean, he seems to be literally 'wearing' one in his hair here...

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Bran saw her face. Her eyes were closed and her mouth was open, moaning. Her golden hair swung from side to side as her head moved back and forth, but still he recognized the queen.

He must have made a noise. Suddenly her eyes opened, and she was staring right at him. She screamed.

I must say, that image of Cersei with her eyes closed and mouth open, framed by an aureola of her golden hair, the strands swinging from side to side with her head moving back and forth, is not unlike a sea anemone, which also has no eyes, one carnivorous mouth with one purpose directed upward, and venomous, stinging tentacles, which likewise sway to and fro, with which to capture unsuspecting worms, crustaceans, mussels, and even larger prey such as fish and birds (poor Bran and Sansa got into her clutches).  See this report of a an anemone catching a sea bird!   In Cersei's context, the watery environment of the sea anemone is also conveyed by the 'soft, wet, moaning sounds.'  With their dual-purpose tentacles, anemones are fire creatures (like Cersei) of the watery depths harnessing electricity as well as poison in those graceful feelers, so it is fitting that Bran's fall from the tower is compared to a lightning strike.  In 'anemonic' terms, it was Cersei, not Jaime, who struck Bran.  Although she wielded the hand of the Kingslayer by proxy (stung into submission) to accomplish the deed, recall that he was loathe to do so, looking over at Cersei with 'loathing' before relenting under her fixed gaze and complying with her directive.  It's also worth noting that in Greek mythology Cersei, usually spelled 'Circe,' is a nymph, witch, enchantress or sorceress well-versed in spells and poisons, designed to harness people to her will, or finally kill those with whom she has dispensed. 

After Bran's encounter with Cersei, which left him permanently disfigured, other 'moaners' beckoned, also transforming him in turn.  Through his capacity for 'third-eye' dreaming, heightened since his fall, Bran felt someone was calling him, be it the tree or the crow or channeled via Jojen, plucking him out of Winterfell and drawing him to his uncertain destiny north of the wall, all catalysed by his figurative drowning represented by the so-called 'coma dream,' from which he emerged 'reborn,' followed by the 'sea which came to Winterfell' via the Ironborn.  Notice, the proliferation of watery metaphors:  sirens are sea creatures luring sailors; the Lady of the Lake made Merlin her thrall in her underground watery cave chaining him to a tree in some retellings; the Ironborn are associated with the drowned god; and the Heart of Winter glimpsed in the coma is a reconfigured 'Heart of Darkness' (after Conrad's eponymous classic of the journey upriver into the heart of the uncharted 'dark continent' of the other, which is paradoxically also a descent into the darkest recesses of the self)...thanks for that catch @Black Crow.  

Given his paralysis and atrophy, Bran's legs are of no use to him on land.  In this respect, he is similar to a merwife or selkie (a seal is a kind of seawolf) with a fish tail and human torso.  One might even say that Bran following his crippling is like a fish out of water (never forget, he's also a Tully; and water, particularly navigating 'the river of time,' is his element!)  Likewise, Bloodraven can be thought of as an old wyvern (pun on merwife perhaps) or sea serpent, which also has a tail and is potentially seaworthy in the right environment.  Once Bran finds his way to the underground cavern with its sunless sea, he should be symbolically in his element like the blind white fish which taste as good as sighted (which I believe refer to him).  However, the mention of eating the fish is a clue to be had about the disquieting nature of the 'symbiotic' arrangement or 'wedding' into which he's entering in the cave (there've been enough hints of cannibalism along the way and within the cave to give us some pause).  Although Bran will be relatively free to 'swim' in the alternate dimension afforded by the weirwood network, that selfsame network also serves to tie him down in an undeniable bondage.

It's clear that this is a 'marriage' into which Bran feels reluctant to enter.  One might even say he feels trapped into it, in light of his disability which compromises his options. As a 'merwife' figure, Bran, therefore, suffers entrapment in inverse fashion to a mermaid who having lost her tail cannot re-enter the water-- he's lost his legs and is now at the mercy of those in the cave, who desire him to figuratively enter the water 'under the sea' (a metaphor for greenseeing):

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A Dance with Dragons - Bran III

Something about the look of it made Bran feel ill. The red veins were only weirwood sap, he supposed, but in the torchlight they looked remarkably like blood. He dipped the spoon into the paste, then hesitated. "Will this make me a greenseer?"

"Your blood makes you a greenseer," said Lord Brynden. "This will help awaken your gifts and wed you to the trees."

Bran did not want to be married to a tree … but who else would wed a broken boy like him? A thousand eyes, a hundred skins, wisdom deep as the roots of ancient trees. A greenseer.

Being wed to 'a thousand eyes, a hundred skins, wisdom deep as roots' seems a daunting prospect, conferring omniscience and immortality at the cost of dissolving or drowning the self.  We've already established that tangling with anemones may be hazardous.  So, merwives (the greenseers) wearing nennymoans (the weirwood network, the 1000 eyes, the Children, the undead singers) in their hair in order to harness their power (magic) is a relationship fraught with danger, and bound to backfire.  Otherwise stated, in roughly paraphrased 'Azor-Ahai' terms: merwives (azor ahai) uniting with nennymoans ('nissa nissa'...the moaning one...'her cry of anguish and ecstasy left a crack on the face of the moon'...remember Bran's description of 'a woman's voice, high and sweet, with a strange music in it like none that he had ever heard and a sadness that he thought might break his heart') --  together produce magic (forging a sword is analogous to weaving gowns of silver seaweed) which leaves the byproduct -- collateral damage -- of 'a cracked face' or a 'broken heart.'  Note, that both parties in the 'marriage' are liable to get hurt (Bran is the Azor Ahai equivalent here -- Azor Ahai-figures also get hurt!)

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A Dance with Dragons - Bran II

The way the shadows shifted made it seem as if the walls were moving too. Bran saw great white snakes slithering in and out of the earth around him, and his heart thumped in fear. He wondered if they had blundered into a nest of milk snakes or giant grave worms, soft and pale and squishy. Grave worms have teeth.

Hodor saw them too. "Hodor," he whimpered, reluctant to go on. But when the girl child stopped to let them catch her, the torchlight steadied, and Bran realized that the snakes were only white roots like the one he'd hit his head on. "It's weirwood roots," he said. "Remember the heart tree in the godswood, Hodor? The white tree with the red leaves? A tree can't hurt you."

The statement, 'a tree can't hurt you' is of course eminently debatable, especially considering Bran contradicts himself in the same statement with the admission that the tree has already in way hurt his head.  Etymologically, a 'weir' from which the word 'weirwood' is derived is 'a low dam built across a river to raise the level of water upstream or regulate its flow,' again emphasizing the interdependent relationship between tree and water, and insinuating how crucial the Children's and/or Greenseer's agenda is to the climate changes and potential cataclysms threatening Westeros. Additionally, a weir is 'an enclosure of stakes set in a stream as a trap for fish'-- basically a fish net.  The weirwood throne is also a cage; the nest can be a pyre. In Christian terms, being tied to a tree is a crucifix.  

In the following example, another 'nennymoan'-figure Melisandre puts a greenseer king figure in a weirwood cage (Mance Rayder...P.S. @The Fattest Leech, I like what you said recently about rangers being the 'human' equivalent of greenseeing, both of which entail 'deep seeing'...not quite sure that's what you meant, though!)  As with the other sirens -- the 'moaners' --we've encountered, Melisandre frequently uses her voice to enchant (e.g. 'she made the word a song' when bewitching Ghost so that he no longer recognized Jon):  

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A Dance with Dragons - Jon III

Beneath the weeping Wall, Lady Melisandre raised her pale white hands.

She's like a weirwood tree, with her red-and-white coloring, reaching for the sky like the limbs of a tree.

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"We all must choose," she proclaimed. "Man or woman, young or old, lord or peasant, our choices are the same." Her voice made Jon Snow think of anise and nutmeg and cloves.

She's also a spice tree.  Spice is frequently associated with duplicity and poison in addition to enlightenment by GRRM, e.g. the 'Spicers' who facilitated Robb's demise, or the spiced honey locusts intended to kill Daenerys.  Spices are a major component too of the weirwood paste and shade of the evening, indicating that removing the 'caul' from ones eyes is a risky business.

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She stood at the king's side on a wooden scaffold raised above the pit. "We choose light or we choose darkness. We choose good or we choose evil. We choose the true god or the false."

Mance Rayder's thick grey-brown hair blew about his face as he walked. He pushed it from his eyes with bound hands, smiling. But when he saw the cage, his courage failed him. The queen's men had made it from the trees of the haunted forest, from saplings and supple branches, pine boughs sticky with sap, and the bone-white fingers of the weirwoods. They'd bent them and twisted them around and through each other to weave a wooden lattice, then hung it high above a deep pit filled with logs, leaves, and kindling.

The wildling king recoiled from the sight. "No," he cried, "mercy. This is not right, I'm not the king, they—"

...

The horn crashed amongst the logs and leaves and kindling. Within three heartbeats the whole pit was aflame. Clutching the bars of his cage with bound hands, Mance sobbed and begged. When the fire reached him he did a little dance. His screams became one long, wordless shriek of fear and pain. Within his cage, he fluttered like a burning leaf, a moth caught in a candle flame.

Jon found himself remembering a song.

The man 'singing and dancing' in a tree-cage of fire is a graphic representation of the perils of greenseeing, made possible by the alliance of human and magical forces, such as those provided by the Children or R'hllor.  Wearing nennymoans in ones hair is thus tangling with forces potentially beyond ones control, attractive as they may appear at first.   Because they become entangled with sorcery -- for which I'm positing wearing nennymoans in their hair is a metaphor -- greenseer figures often appear transformed, as if they were anemones themselves.  That is why 'under the sea, no one wears hats' (as Patchface declares in ACOK-Prologue)...  

Firstly, they don't wear 'hats', they wear 'nennymoans'!  :)  A hat is supposed to protect one from the elements like rain and sun, so not wearing a hat, thereby immersing oneself in that element, conveys either heightened resistance or ongoing vulnerability (besides the joke about a hat not being necessary because it's always wet anyway under the sea).  Wearing a 'nennymoan' may appear to be similar to donning a headdress of some sort, but a weirwood 'headdress,' with all that entails, is more than a hat -- its transformative to ones identity, attached to ones body, and therefore not something one can remove at will.  It's intertwined to such an extent with the self, that as we have observed, it's difficult to differentiate the various parties in the so-called 'symbiotic' relationship from one another.  Secondly, this riddle is cleverly ambiguous, implying (a) that no person or other creature wears hats; or alternatively (b) that no one, singular person or creature wears hats, i.e. that more than one, perhaps everyone wears hats; or even (c) that they all wear one hat collectively, as if they were under one umbrella; or as yet another possibility (d) that only those who are 'no one' in GRRM's uniquely designated sense of the phrase do indeed wear special hats which are transformative.  For example, Arya calls the faces used as disguises by the faceless men assassins 'leather hoods' which is a kind of very special 'hat', like 'nennymoans' and other magical crowns.  In the latter interpretation of the riddle, 'those who are no one' might include several parties, not exclusively the Faceless Men.  According to a broad interpretation thereof, 'those who acquire third-eye sight' must first give up part of the self, undergo death symbolically and/or literally, and be reborn as 'no one'; or, otherwise stated, become one of 'many no-ones'-- 'menny noans'..?!

Recall:

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A Dance with Dragons - Bran II

"Fire burns them. Fire is always hungry."

That was not Arya's voice, nor any child's. It was a woman's voice, high and sweet, with a strange music in it like none that he had ever heard and a sadness that he thought might break his heart. Bran squinted, to see her better. It was a girl, but smaller than Arya, her skin dappled like a doe's beneath a cloak of leaves. Her eyes were queer—large and liquid, gold and green, slitted like a cat's eyes. No one has eyes like that. Her hair was a tangle of brown and red and gold, autumn colors, with vines and twigs and withered flowers woven through it.

ADWD-Bran III

A thousand eyes, a hundred skins, wisdom deep as the roots of ancient trees. A greenseer.

 

On 9/17/2016 at 7:10 AM, Pain killer Jane said:

I find it interesting that it is net at all on a girl that is half fish...I often thought whether if it was a reference to Indra's net.

Since we are on the subject of poison a note about the gowns made of silver seaweed, since the song has all this death imagery I suspected that the gowns were akin to the poisoned gown delivered by Medea to the new wife of Jason and she also sent her a coronet that was poisoned as well

Plus you also have the Shirt of Nessus that had a combination of the blood of a centaur and the poisoned blood of the hydra and then was used to kill Heracles by his wife Deianira. 

In my paradigm, greenseeing is a power conferred by the crown of 'nennymoans' and 'gowns of silver seaweed,' a double-edged sword, in the sense of 'Euron's gifts are poisoned.'  Except I don't think this concept of poisoned gift just applies to Euron.  Dividing greenseeing into 'good' and 'bad', 'heretic' and 'non-heretic' greenseers, is artificial.  Greenseeing as a practice always implies inherent risk and sacrifice, regardless of ones intentions.  I like your point here, where you make the duality clear:

On 9/13/2016 at 9:49 PM, Pain killer Jane said:

another layer of meaning added to the nennymoans.

I will agree that Euron and the Ironborn are a bubbling pressure cooker waiting to explode and are extremely important. But I think the anemones points to self poisoning or a double-edge sword. They are close relations to the freshwater Hydra organisms and they are subjects of much speculation in concern to their functional immortality. 

In seeking immortality there is an element of poisoning oneself as seen with Bloodstone Emperor and the Targaryens adherence to blood purity and the increased frequency of madness and prophecy in combination. 

Regarding Sansa's hairnet, it's interesting how she's both the netted fish (caught in Baelish's trap) as well as the one netting Joffrey, albeit inadvertently.  Extrapolating the significance of the amethysts, ironically bearing death via intoxication rather than protecting one from it, as you've noted, the amethysts, affixed to Sansa's head with treacherous silver threads, poised like coiled purple serpents evoke the mythological figure of the Gorgon/Medusa, essentially a multi-serpent-headed woman who could turn men to stone. GRRM cleverly alludes to this mythological source as the crystals which figuratively 'turn people to stone' are themselves literally stones!   In Sansa's case, however, the inverse is happening as she is in the process of being turned to stone herself -- Alayne Stone -- by a male serpent (Baelish) who has caught her in his gaze.  In fact, he is framing her for the murder from which he intends to 'rescue' her!  His name 'Petyr' also derives from rock or stone, as in to 'petrify,' meaning to terrify or overwhelm someone to the extent that they are no longer able to speak, move, or think for themselves, and are for all intents and purposes 'turned to stone.'

 I like the reference to Indra's net.  I had never heard of that before!  

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From wikipedia:

"Indra's net" is the net of the Vedic god Indra, whose net hangs over his palace on Mount Meru, the axis mundi of Hindu cosmology and Hindu mythology. Indra's net has a multifaceted jewel at each vertex, and each jewel is reflected in all of the other jewels. In theAvatamsaka Sutra, the image of "Indra's net" is used to describe the interconnectedness of the universe:

Far away in the heavenly abode of the great god Indra, there is a wonderful net which has been hung by some cunning artificer in such a manner that it stretches out infinitely in all directions. In accordance with the extravagant tastes of deities, the artificer has hung a single glittering jewel in each "eye" of the net, and since the net itself is infinite in dimension, the jewels are infinite in number. There hang the jewels, glittering "like" stars in the first magnitude, a wonderful sight to behold. If we now arbitrarily select one of these jewels for inspection and look closely at it, we will discover that in its polished surface there are reflected all the other jewels in the net, infinite in number. Not only that, but each of the jewels reflected in this one jewel is also reflecting all the other jewels, so that there is an infinite reflecting process occurring.

The myriad jewels glittering like stars in the net, informing each other, remind me of Bloodraven's 'a thousand and one eyes.'  The net conveys both the interconnectedness of the plot, so that for instance a murder can happen at a distance from the murderer, and the way GRRM tends to construct his metaphors so that everything reflects everything else, the 'macro' is nested in the 'micro,' and history repeats itself.  That's why you and @LmL can find moon meteor metaphors everywhere, although that's not the only reality to be found!

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A Dance with Dragons - Tyrion I

"Slaver's Bay is a long way from Pentos." Tyrion speared a goose liver on the point of his knife. No man is as cursed as the kinslayer, he mused, but I could learn to/ like this hell.

"This is so," Illyrio agreed, "but the world is one great web, and a man dare not touch a single strand lest all the others tremble. More wine?" Illyrio popped a pepper into his mouth. "No, something better." He clapped his hands together.

 

Drowning as a metaphor for greenseeing 

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A Dance with Dragons - Bran III

He even crossed the slender stone bridge that arched over the abyss and discovered more passages and chambers on the far side. One was full of singers, enthroned like Brynden in nests of weirwood roots that wove under and through and around their bodies. Most of them looked dead to him, but as he crossed in front of them their eyes would open and follow the light of his torch, and one of them opened and closed a wrinkled mouth as if he were trying to speak. "Hodor," Bran said to him, and he felt the real Hodor stir down in his pit.

The 'cavern of singers, or skulls', is like a hazy opium den or seabed -- underwater, human language is suppressed, sound is distorted, and things seem to move in slow motion in a dreamlike atmosphere, where the inhabitants might very well be engaged in some sort of dreaming, e.g. 'green-dreaming or -seeing' (well, it is called a sea/see 'bed' ;))-- or even seem dead.  Skinchanging Hodor, Bran is able to wander around the cavern (or in our metaphorical terms, do a bit of 'deep-sea' diving) encountering exotic sedentary creatures, one of whom he already is himself considering his own paralysis, and one of whom he is soon to become like Bloodraven who is caught in the stranglehold of the weirwood  and therefore no longer 'quick' as he calls it (although this selfsame stranglehold has paradoxically prolonged his life; granting him breath as it suffocates him).  Affixed to the rocks like vegetation, the singers stir, opening and closing their mouths like fishes or rather, considering their rootedness, sea anemones resembling their eponymous flower 'cousins'.  Likewise, with his bright eye framed by his long flowing hair, tattery skin and weirwood crown, Bloodraven has come to resemble an anemone as much as playing host to one.  Specifically, the weirwood roots snaking in and out of his face resemble the tentacles of the anemone, the electrical properties represented by the fire of his one red eye 'burning like the last coal in a dead fire,' although in this analogy the one red eye also stands in for the anemone's central mouth:

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Seated on his throne of roots in the great cavern, half-corpse and half-tree, Lord Brynden seemed less a man than some ghastly statue made of twisted wood, old bone, and rotted wool. The only thing that looked alive in the pale ruin that was his face was his one red eye, burning like the last coal in a dead fire, surrounded by twisted roots and tatters of leathery white skin hanging off a yellowed skull.

The sight of him still frightened Bran—the weirwood roots snaking in and out of his withered flesh, the mushrooms sprouting from his cheeks, the white wooden worm that grew from the socket where one eye had been. He liked it better when the torches were put out. In the dark he could pretend that it was the three-eyed crow who whispered to him and not some grisly talking corpse.

The fact that Patchface drowned and washed up 'on the third day' specifically is a reference to Christ, coming back to life on the third day after his crucifixion, and with it the central theme of death and rebirth which GRRM explores throughout in various permutations (e.g. Patchface's drowning and re-emergence in Shipbreaker Bay mirrors what happened at the Blackwater to Davos; the latter can also be shown to be an inverse Hand/fool, once we start peeling that onion).  Specifically, 'drowned men' imagery, with its obvious references both to the Ironborn (Patchface washes up like driftwood or Nagga) and the 'dead men rising' as wights in the north, is at play here, '...what is dead may never die, but rises stronger and harder...' 

In the same vein, Bloodraven is also presumed by the realm to be dead for at least a century, having gone inexplicably missing on a ranging and figuratively 'drowned' somewhere out there in the great white 'sea' of the deep North, north of the Wall, the latter functioning as a dam, 'weir,' or 'ward,' holding back the great unknown torrent that is beckoning. Throughout, as I've said, I'll be providing numerous quotes to substantiate this claim of how GRRM's linguistic choices imaginatively configure the north as a vast sea (just as he hints at the Dothraki 'sea' in the east) in which it's easy to disappear, and just as inexplicably reappear from the wilderness transformed.  The 'sea' is thus linked to appearances, disappearances, and re-appearances -- i.e. sea has a connection to seeing!  Unbeknownst to the realm, like the 'drowned fool,' Bloodraven has symbolically donned his helm of weirwood antlers and taken up his 'second life fit for a king' as a singer, facilitated by that deep'green sea' -- pun on 'green see'

 

 of the widespread weirwood network.   On the one hand, the singers or chosen ones 'drink from the green fountain' of immortality (ADWD-Bran III), ingesting it.  On the other hand, they also 'go into the trees' and are taken up by 'wood, leaf, limb and root' (ADWD-Bran III) arguably immersing or being ingested themselves in that selfsame fountain.  

Similarly, in the description given of Bloodraven's cave above, the darkness in which Bloodraven and Bran are enveloped is compared to the fluid substance of ,mother's milk, serving a dual purpose for the greenseers, respectively something they swallow or 'milk' as it were, as well as being something within which they themselves are swallowed, 'milked,' or drowned.  It's implied, therefore, that 'drowning,' like falling, may be related to greenseeing symbolically and perhaps literally (should it turn out to be the case that greenseers were indeed the party responsible for triggering historic catastrophes causing epic flooding of the land by water and darkness, etc.).  The 'milk' reference to greenseeing should convey caution, when we consider that 'milk snakes' to which the weirwood roots are compared are banded red and white snakes which closely resemble a poisonous variant.  In addition, the cavern is compared to a giant mouth, with upper and lower rows of teeth, threatening to consume those venturing inside.  'Milk' should always remind us of the ubiquitous 'milk of the poppy,' and @Pain killer Jane also makes a good point about 'sweetmilk' which likewise can be dangerous in a dose-dependent fashion:

On 9/16/2016 at 9:31 PM, Pain killer Jane said:

Milk Snakes- Sweetmilk while it is good in doses can be used as a poison to kill and we know the association of poison, snakes and the Targaryens.

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A Dance with Dragons - Bran II

The way the shadows shifted made it seem as if the walls were moving too. Bran saw great white snakes slithering in and out of the earth around him, and his heart thumped in fear. He wondered if they had blundered into a nest of milk snakes or giant grave worms, soft and pale and squishy. Grave worms have teeth.

Hodor saw them too. "Hodor," he whimpered, reluctant to go on. But when the girl child stopped to let them catch her, the torchlight steadied, and Bran realized that the snakes were only white roots like the one he'd hit his head on. "It's weirwood roots," he said. "Remember the heart tree in the godswood, Hodor? The white tree with the red leaves? A tree can't hurt you."

"Hodor." Hodor plunged ahead, hurrying after the child and her torch, deeper into the earth. They passed another branching, and another, then came into an echoing cavern as large as the great hall of Winterfell, with stone teeth hanging from its ceiling and more poking up through its floor. The child in the leafy cloak wove a path through them.

 

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From wikipedia:

Milk snakes grow 20 to 60 inches (51 to 152 cm) long. They have smooth and shiny scales and their typical color pattern is alternating bands of red-black-yellow or white-black-red.  However, red blotches instead of bands are seen in some populations.  Some milk snakes have a striking resemblance to coral snakes and this mimicry (known as Batesian mimicry) likely scares away potential predators. While both milk snakes and coral snakes possess transverse bands of red, black and yellow, common mnemonics can be used to properly distinguish between the deadly coral snake and the harmless milk snake:

Red touches black, you're OK, Jack; red touches yellow, you're a dead fellow.[citation needed]

Red on yellow kills a fellow. Red on black, venom lack.

Considering readers frequently ask whether Bloodraven and the weirwoods are 'good' or 'bad' agents, questioning their motives when it comes to Bran, this information is teasingly suggestive.  'Red touches black, you're OK' -- the Targaryen colors or Bloodraven's 'blood and smoke' -- should indicate benign intentions, following this color signification.  However, 'red touches yellow, you're a dead fellow' -- Bloodraven's red birthmark and spray of red weirwood leaves adjacent to his yellow scalp; and Leaf's colors of red and yellow (or russet and gold) -- would seem to indicate otherwise!

 

Bran's 'phenomenology of greenseeing'

As the character providing our window into the phenomenology of 'third-eye' seeing, Bran frequently describes the experience of greenseeing and skinchanging in 'watery' terms, as a disorienting sensation of dissolution (becoming 'no-one'), having ones insides 'turned to water,' being 'upside down and inside out,' submerged in an alternate reality and then abruptly spat out, as if by some roiling ocean current, or whirlwind.  To reiterate, sea/see is a cardinal pun to watch.

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A Game of Thrones - Bran III

LOOK DOWN!

Bran looked down, and felt his insides turn to water. The ground was rushing up at him now. The whole world was spread out below him, a tapestry of white and brown and green. He could see everything so clearly that for a moment he forgot to be afraid. He could see the whole realm, and everyone in it.

A Dance with Dragons - Bran II

The world moved dizzily around him. White trees, black sky, red flames, everything was whirling, shifting, spinning. He felt himself stumbling. He could hear Hodor screaming, "Hodor hodor hodor hodor. Hodor hodor hodor hodor. Hodor hodor hodor hodor hodor." A cloud of ravens was pouring from the cave, and he saw a little girl with a torch in hand, darting this way and that.

Note, 'ravens pouring' also connotes a watery rush or flow.  

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For a moment Bran thought it was his sister Arya … madly, for he knew his little sister was a thousand leagues away, or dead. And yet there she was, whirling, a scrawny thing, ragged, wild, her hair atangle. Tears filled Hodor's eyes and froze there.

An intriguing observation: as Bran is skinchanging Hodor at this moment, poignantly Hodor cries with Bran's tears; or perhaps Bran cries with Hodor's tears.

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Everything turned inside out and upside down, and Bran found himself back inside his own skin, half-buried in the snow. The burning wight loomed over him, etched tall against the trees in their snowy shrouds.

The description of the personified trees is a clue mirroring Bran's condition in several respects.  Firstly, they like Bran are skinchangers and greenseers of a sort, donning an alternate coat or being swallowed up in their milky mantle, both 'snowy shrouds' respectively.  Secondly, they wear shrouds as if they were dead bodies prepared for burial, which however harbor a latent power, as evidenced in how these trees watch over proceedings, come to life and spring into action, as follows:

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It was one of the naked ones, Bran saw, in the instant before the nearest tree shook off the snow that covered it and dropped it all down upon his head.

As previously brought to my attention by @Wizz-The-Smith, note the delightful image of the personified tree joining the fight and saving Bran from the burning wight by drowning him in snow (due to the ambiguity of the 'head' in question, I'm uncertain whether the manoeuvre was successful by covering Bran from view or snuffing out the wight with snow!  Nevertheless, they both ended up 'drowned' by snow).  In Bloodraven's hollow, a mound or rather pocket within the landscape covered and walled-in by snow, to the extent that Summer must dig himself out in order to exit, Bran can also be said to be drowned from a certain perspective.  Augmenting this picture, there is a black, bottomless underground sea* feeding the cavern, coincident with the central importance of this watery theme to greenseeing. 

Being 'buried' in the snow is analogous to being drowned in water.  Snow is crystallised water, after all.  And a monotonous white expanse of the precipitate covering the terrain tends to unify the landscape until individual landmarks and features are barely distinguishable, as if it were one unbroken sea.  Similarly, a vast tract of trees may appear as a sea.

  For example, consider the technique used by GRRM in this Jon-passage (special thanks firstly to 'the princess of the green' @Tijgy for bringing this haunting passage to my attention, and she as well as @Wizz-The-Smith for developing many of the ideas therein together with me!  Please also see @The Fattest Leech's excellent examples of the same, above, particular the one involving 'the drowned forest'; there are also several Asha passages in which the north is configured as 'an ocean of leaves'): 

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A Clash of Kings - Jon IV

Closer at hand, it was the trees that ruled. To south and east the wood went on as far as Jon could see, a vast tangle of root and limb painted in a thousand shades of green, with here and there a patch of red where a weirwood shouldered through the pines and sentinels, or a blush of yellow where some broadleafs had begun to turn. When the wind blew, he could hear the creak and groan of branches older than he was. A thousand leaves fluttered, and for a moment the forest seemed a deep green sea, storm-tossed and heaving, eternal and unknowable.

Ghost was not like to be alone down there, he thought. Anything could be moving under that sea, creeping toward the ringfort through the dark of the wood, concealed beneath those trees. Anything. How would they ever know? He stood there for a long time, until the sun vanished behind the saw-toothed mountains and darkness began to creep through the forest.

If we look closely, we can infer the presence of the greenseers, particularly in the description of the forest as an 'eternal and unknowable' see, alluding to the 'godhead.'  Note, it's the 'trees that ruled,' hinting that this is the dominion of greenseers.  In the hierarchy of the kingdom of trees, the weirwoods appear to be boss, 'shouldering' or muscling their way forwards, as if attempting to push the others aside.  Further, a 'tangle of root and limb' should immediately remind us of Bloodraven, who is an intertwining half-corpse half-tree.   At first Jon notices individual trees who are personified, but then when the wind blows (wind being a major vehicle by which greenseers communicate... 'rustling' and 'fluttering' leaves like hands, birds, or flames trying to get Jon's attention), Jon becomes aware of the collective breath of the trees,'creaking,' 'groaning,' and 'heaving' as if they were one body. 'Heaving' in particular effectively conveys both the visual and audible rise and fall of someone's chest wall/ rib cage (interestingly, @LmL among others has likened Nagga's 'rib cage' to both the inverted hull of a boat as well as a petrified weirwood skeleton, arguing that it represents the seat of a greenseer king's hall, throne, hearth (i.e. fireplace), by which his power is endowed). 

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A Clash of Kings - Theon I

The captain's face was as green as the sea when he came bowing up to Theon and asked, "May we make for port now, milord?"

"You may," Theon said, a faint smile playing about his lips. The promise of gold had turned the Oldtowner into a shameless lickspittle. It would have been a much different voyage if a longship from the islands had been waiting at Seagard as he'd hoped. Ironborn captains were proud and willful, and did not go in awe of a man's blood. The islands were too small for awe, and a longship smaller still. If every captain was a king aboard his own ship, as was often said, it was small wonder they named the islands the land of ten thousand kings. And when you have seen your kings shit over the rail and turn green in a storm, it was hard to bend the knee and pretend they were gods. "The Drowned God makes men," old King Urron Redhand had once said, thousands of years ago, "but it's men who make crowns."

Note, the 'green men'!   ‘Heaving’ can be anything from a deep sigh to a more ominous herald threatening some potentially violent action, e.g. the more dramatic events associated with ‘coughing,‘ ‘retching’ or ‘vomiting’; in geophysical terms, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis etc.  

The forest is directly compared to a ‘storm-tossed’ and ‘deep green sea,' where the ebb and flow of the sea tides responding to the waxing and the waning of the moon is a kind of 'in-and-out' breathing motion of the body of water.  ‘Storm-tossed’ might be an allusion to Euron the storm agent and likeliest candidate to have been responsible for the storm-tossing of his brother to his death, and according to many compelling theories is thought to be a renegade greenseer apprentice or rival of Bloodraven.  Deep ‘green sea’ might also be a nod to the Ironborn invasion of the North (figured as drowning Winterfell in Jojen's prophetic dream), in addition to undoubtedly constituting a punning nod as we've previously noted to the presence of ‘green seers’ among the trees, reinforced by the reiteration of ‘a thousand leaves’ and ‘a thousand shades of green,’ shades having the double meaning of a tree’s literal shadow and ghost denizens – and ‘a thousand’ of course being Bloodraven’s magic number of 1000 proxy eyes (excluding the one eye which is his own).  There’s also a subtle nod to him specifically with the recurrent piebaldish imagery of the broadleaf’s ‘yellow blush’ combining the colors yellow (echoing the yellow decay of Bloodraven’s skull) and red (being the color usually used to describe blushing, and associated with Bloodraven’s own bloodred albino eye and his birthmark which is literally a red stain).  Moreover, the particular plant in question is a ‘broadleaf,’ naturally bringing to mind the Child of the Forest ‘Leaf,’ Bloodraven’s assistant (she’s also adorned in autumnal colors of red and golden yellow).  After googling ‘broadleaf,’ I discovered that the leaves of this plant are typically used to make tobacco for cigars, so there’s yet another connection to Bloodraven whose other color is ‘smoke’!   

 

*As an aside: a note on the 'sunless sea'

GRRM, heavily borrowing from the poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge's poem 'Kubla Khan' calls the underground sea in Bloodraven's cavern a 'sunless sea' -- i.e. as I've explained before on other threads, using the wordplay I've identified, a locus of 'dark-seeing.'   Incidentally, this poem was reportedly composed under the influence of a mind-altering, dreamy opium ('milk of the poppy')-induced haze.  Similarly, mushrooms sprout from Bloodraven's skull/brain (literally mind-altering!) which may be a nod to the cult of the Vedic priests or other shamanic traditions such as that of the Native Americans, which have been known to use hallucinogenic mushrooms as an impetus for their rituals (not dissimilar to Bran's weirwood paste or Dany and Euron's shade of the evening).  The mushroom Amanita muscaria or 'fly agaric', for example, was considered the 'divine mushroom of immortality' by Gordon Wasson, although others prefer Psilocybe cubensis ('magic mushrooms') as the likelier ecstasy-inducing candidate:

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From Wikipedia:

The Vedas (/ˈveɪdəz, ˈviː-/; Sanskrit: वेद véda, "knowledge") are a large body of texts originating in the ancient Indian subcontinent. Composed in Vedic Sanskrit, the texts constitute the oldest layer of Sanskrit literature and the oldest scriptures of Hinduism.Hindus consider the Vedas to be apauruṣeya, which means "not of a man, superhuman"and "impersonal, authorless".

i.e. faceless, nameless (no-)ones.

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Vedas are also called śruti ("what is heard") literature, distinguishing them from other religious texts, which are called smṛti ("what is remembered"). The Veda, for orthodox Indian theologians, are considered revelations seen by ancient sages after intense meditation, and texts that have been more carefully preserved since ancient times.In the Hindu Epic the Mahabharata, the creation of Vedas is credited to Brahma.The Vedic hymns themselves assert that they were skillfully created by Rishis (sages), after inspired creativity, just as a carpenter builds a chariot.

...

Candidates for the plant[edit]

Main article: Botanical identity of Soma-Haoma

There has been much speculation as to the original Sauma plant. Candidates that have been suggested include honey, mushrooms, psychoactive and other herbal plants...

...

 Alternatively Mark Merlin [what a name for the job!], who revisited the subject of the identity of Soma more than thirty years after originally writing about it stated that there is a need of further study on links between Soma and P. Somniferum [=opium poppy]. (Merlin, 2008)

In his book Food of the Gods, ethnobotanist Terence McKenna postulates that the most likely candidate for Soma is the mushroom Psilocybe cubensis, a hallucinogenic mushroom ['magic mushrooms'] that grows in cow dung in certain climates. McKenna cites both Wasson's and his own unsuccessful attempts using Amanita muscaria to reach a psychedelic state as evidence that it could not have inspired the worship and praise of Soma. McKenna further points out that the 9th mandala of the Rig Veda makes extensive references to the cow as the embodiment of soma.

 

Summer under the sea

In light of the above, this introduces another dimension to Sam 'tripping' on a tree (likely weirwood) root which may have played a role in impelling him forward to kill the white walker, in the ASOS prologue!   Ironically, this would mean that the obstacle placed in his way actually facilitated his path by hindering him (akin to the interruption of Jaime's journey by the weirwood stump sleep/dream, whereafter he changes course for Harrenhal and Brienne).  Recently, @Cowboy Danhas suggested a novel way of thinking about Sam's momentous feat of 'slaying', positing that he was willingly skinchanged by someone, for which he provided persuasive documented arguments.  Whatever ones view of that startling notion, Sam surely received some form of weirwood inspiration in the deep north!  

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A Storm of Swords - Samwell I

Sobbing, he took another step.

A root beneath the crust caught his toe, and Sam tripped and fell heavily to one knee, so hard he bit his tongue. He could taste the blood in his mouth, warmer than anything he had tasted since the Fist. This is the end, he thought. Now that he had fallen he could not seem to find the strength to rise again. He groped for a tree branch and clutched it tight, trying to pull himself back to his feet...

...

Shivering, Sam released his grip on the tree and eased himself down in the snow. It was cold and wet, he knew, but he could scarcely feel it through all his clothing. He stared upward at the pale white sky as snowflakes drifted down upon his stomach and his chest and his eyelids. The snow will cover me like a thick white blanket. It will be warm under the snow...

It is 'warm under the snow' -- reminiscent of 'summer under the sea'?  Sam's definitely one of our 'drowning' greenseer candidates (as @Wizz-The-Smith has noted, he literally almost drowned in the Horn Hill pond after being dunked in it by his father as a child, and since then there have been further allusions to drowning, including perhaps even 'third-eye'-type experiences).

In diverse ways, the trees collectively participate in fostering Bran's powers, and those of others.  The process of acquiring and exercising these powers is mediated by a trope of drowning or near-drowning (including baptism and rebirth elements).  Supporting this argument, 'watery' symbolism is frequently used throughout, intimately associated with the trees:

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The next he knew, he was lying on a bed of pine needles beneath a dark stone roof. The cave. I'm in the cave. His mouth still tasted of blood where he'd bitten his tongue, but a fire was burning to his right, the heat washing over his face, and he had never felt anything so good. Summer was there, sniffing round him, and Hodor, soaking wet. Meera cradled Jojen's head in her lap. And the Arya thing stood over them, clutching her torch. ['The Arya thing' refers to the Child of the Forest, providing yet another link between the Children and the Faceless Men]

 For Bran like Sam there is a flow of blood marking the transformational experience (likewise, the weirwood trees are said to taste, swallow, or drink the lifeblood flowing into the earth for uptake by their roots from a sacrifice).  Even the fire is described in fluid terms, heat 'washing over' or bathing his face, as if submerged in a warm bath.  Come to think of it, I've heard that near-exact description before, here:

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A Game of Thrones - Bran III

Bran touched his forehead, between his eyes. The place where the crow had pecked him was still burning, but there was nothing there, no blood, no wound. He felt weak and dizzy. He tried to get out of bed, but nothing happened.

And then there was movement beside the bed, and something landed lightly on his legs. He felt nothing. A pair of yellow eyes looked into his own, shining like the sun. The window was open and it was cold in the room, but the warmth that came off the wolf enfolded him like a hot bath. His pup, Bran realized … or was it? He was so big now. He reached out to pet him, his hand trembling like a leaf.

When his brother Robb burst into the room, breathless from his dash up the tower steps, the direwolf was licking Bran's face. Bran looked up calmly. "His name is Summer," he said.

Thanks to @evita mgfs for our many fruitful discussions surrounding the importance of motifs surrounding the Catholic rituals of baptism and holy communion (GRRM had a Catholic upbringing which left its mark), of which we find an example here.  Bran emerges from the Heart of Winter reborn.  In a beautiful gesture of mutual baptism/communion, the wolf enfolds him in a warm wet bath and licks his face, Bran reciprocally reaching out to touch him in blessing, naming him for the first time: 'Summer.'

If Summer the direwolf along with Bran the Summer child has gone underground in Bloodraven's hollow, then it's quite possible that it's 'Summer under the sea'!  However, that explanation would preclude it 'always' being Summer, since I don't expect either of them to remain in Bloodraven's cavern forever, for reasons which I'll elaborate in due course.  Perhaps, however, Summer is preserved as long as there is any resident greenseer 'married to the tree,' not necessarily Bran or his wolf.  Additionally, the caverns form an elaborate, alternate 'mirror' world of honeycombed catacombs, harboring religious significance as well as providing a refuge from the elements, having served the Children during the last 'long night,' a function which they will likely serve again.  In fact, we're told that the temperature in the cavern like that in the Winterfell crypts is surprisingly pleasant and warm -- 'summery', one might say! -- despite the prevailing wintry conditions above ground.  @Seams has also suggested such spaces are symbolic forges, in which people like swords are fashioned anew-- an idea which I find both compelling and central to GRRM's thought.

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A Dance with Dragons - Bran III

The moon was fat and full. Stars wheeled across a black sky. Rain fell and froze, and tree limbs snapped from the weight of the ice. Bran and Meera made up names for those who sang the song of earth: Ash and Leaf and Scales, Black Knife and Snowylocks and Coals. Their true names were too long for human tongues, said Leaf. Only she could speak the Common Tongue, so what the others thought of their new names Bran never learned.

After the bone-grinding cold of the lands beyond the Wall, the caves were blessedly warm, and when the chill crept out of the rock the singers would light fires to drive it off again. Down here there was no wind, no snow, no ice, no dead things reaching out to grab you, only dreams and rushlight and the kisses of the ravens. And the whisperer in darkness.

The last greenseer, the singers called him, but in Bran's dreams he was still a three-eyed crow. When Meera Reed had asked him his true name, he made a ghastly sound that might have been a chuckle. "I wore many names when I was quick, but even I once had a mother, and the name she gave me at her breast was Brynden."

In the cave, sheltered from the seasonal fluctuations and magically warded, time stands still -- so, paradoxically, it's 'always Summer.'  Substantiating this viewpoint, the cave system as well as the weirwoods and greenseeing itself are explicitly described as 'timeless' by GRRM on more than one occasion:

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A Dance with Dragons - Bran III

'The caves were timeless...'

...

"A man must know how to look before he can hope to see," said Lord Brynden. "Those were shadows of days past that you saw, Bran. You were looking through the eyes of the heart tree in your godswood. Time is different for a tree than for a man. Sun and soil and water, these are the things a weirwood understands, not days and years and centuries. For men, time is a river. We are trapped in its flow, hurtling from past to present, always in the same direction. The lives of trees are different. They root and grow and die in one place, and that river does not move them. The oak is the acorn, the acorn is the oak. And the weirwood … a thousand human years are a moment to a weirwood, and through such gates you and I may gaze into the past."

"But," said Bran, "he heard me."

  @hiemal makes a beautiful connection:

On 9/14/2016 at 12:26 AM, hiemal said:

"It is always summer under the sea."

Does this remind anyone else of Brienne's response to Catelyn mourning the fate of the knights of summer as winter approaches:

" Winter will never come for the likes of us. Should we die in battle, they will surely sing of us, and it's always summer in the songs." ACoK

'It's always summer in the songs' -- and who are the singers serving as the prime archivists of the songs?  The collective of dead/undead, and living singers in the cave.  It is always summer in the songs; and always summer for the singers.

On a more prosaic level, the living inhabitants of the cave partially subsist on last year's harvest, 'laid by during the long summer', the cave serving as a cellar or larder preserving Summer's bounty for Winter's consumption, again ensuring that it's always summer under the sea...

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A Dance with Dragons - Bran III

Under the hill they still had food to eat. A hundred kinds of mushrooms grew down here.

Hmmm, first on the menu 'a hundred kinds of mushrooms' -- that quintessential chthonic vegetable!

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A Dance with Dragons - Bran III

Blind white fish swam in the black river, but they tasted just as good as fish with eyes once you cooked them up. They had cheese and milk from the goats that shared the caves with the singers, even some oats and barleycorn and dried fruit laid by during the long summer. And almost every day they ate blood stew, thickened with barley and onions and chunks of meat. Jojen thought it might be squirrel meat, and Meera said that it was rat. Bran did not care. It was meat and it was good. The stewing made it tender.

The caves were timeless, vast, silent. They were home to more than three score living singers and the bones of thousands dead, and extended far below the hollow hill. "Men should not go wandering in this place," Leaf warned them. "The river you hear is swift and black, and flows down and down to a sunless sea. And there are passages that go even deeper, bottomless pits and sudden shafts, forgotten ways that lead to the very center of the earth. Even my people have not explored them all, and we have lived here for a thousand thousand of your man-years."

Given that he and his wolf are the embodiment of Summer (Bran was also born in the long summer), Bran going underground -- or figuratively drowning under the sunless sea, thereby bringing the sun/son to that sunless sea -- heralds the summer harvest, ushers in the winter, and as a 'sapling' (Bran's 'avatar' is a weirwood sapling) provides hope for the sprouting of the seed in spring (like a 'drowned man rising,' or 'giant' waking from the earth, he will re-emerge from the cave).  Recall, that on his visit to Winterfell, Tyrion was engrossed in reading a treatise concerning 'a hundred-year-old discourse on the changing of the seasons by a long-dead maester' he unearthed in the library there (AGOT-Tyrion I).  Considering the name 'Winter-fell,' it's not coincidental that this book was found there, but moreover it's becoming clear that Winterfell is a major magical nexus, with the Starks serving as gatekeepers mediating between the realms of the living and the dead, and likely playing a vital role in the change, and crucially (im)balance, of the seasons.  With reference to the Celtic mythology from which GRRM is drawing inspiration for the backbone of his life-death-rebirth cycle, @Black Crow very eloquently posited Bran and Jon as two major gatekeepers in this respect: 

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The gist of it is that the Corn King is one version of the Celtic belief in the duality of the two major seasons; Summer and Winter. Spring and Autumn are just the doors between them and the two are actually more equally balanced than might at first appear, for if Winter can be bitterly cold, Summer can be hot and arid - or worse pestilential. Both can bring starvation because remember that in Summer you're living off last year's harvest. Paradoxically Winter can also be a season of relative plenty and is ushered in by the harvest festival and at its centre is the great solstice feast. While Winter is the season of death that death also represents a cleansing of the land in readiness for the Spring awakening that ushers in the Summer.

In order to maintain this vital cycle of life, death and rebirth, it is necessary to have a Summer King and a Winter King, rather as described by Snowfyre above - and necessary for each to be put into the ground in due time in order to make way for his successor.

On 9/21/2016 at 2:53 AM, hiemal said:

A king for before the solstice (nox invictus)and one for post-solstice (sol invictus)?

Interesting.  Care to elaborate how it pertains to Jon/Bran?

 

Further musings

On 9/11/2016 at 9:21 PM, @LynnS said:

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If we equate 'under the sea' with the sea of trees; then always summer could represent the caves of the CotF and the merwives as brides of the greenseers.  Weaving is a euphemism for magic.  Coldhands says that spells are woven into the Wall and Melisandre talks of weaving spells.  The CotF weave gowns of silver seaweed for the White Walkers who are camouflaged or glamored; reflecting the surrounding forest like silver mirrors.

That's beautiful @LynnS!   I particularly like your idea of the Children weaving 'gowns of silver seaweed' for the White Walkers; or, to quote @Seams delightful anagrammatic breakdown and reformulation thereof from 'silver seaweed' to 'wise red leaves'...magical 'gowns of wise red leaves' representing the bridal gowns (I see the greenseers as the merwives enthralled by the Children, rather than vice-versa, although it works both ways), and more abstractly the communicative, time-bending, and as @Wizz-The-Smith and I have recently speculated the martial capacity (unconventional weapons) of the weirwoods and other trees.  Throughout the text, trees are frequently personified as donning different-colored cloaks.  To name only one of many:

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'Only the soldier pines and sentinels still showed green; the broadleaf trees [evokes 'Leaf'] had donned mantles of russet and gold [again, these are Leaf's colors], or else uncloaked themselves to scratch against the sky with branches brown and bare. [scratching at the face of the sky/moon elicits magic], as we discussed.  Every gust of wind drove swirling clouds of dead leaves across the rutted road. They made a rustling sound [a typical marker of weirwood-speaking] as they scuttled past the hooves of the big bay mare that Jaime Lannister had bestowed on her. As easy to find one leaf in the wind  as one girl lost in Westeros (AFFC-Brienne) 

Supporting our idea of the equation of sea with trees, and the possible 'glamour' or  deeper magic by which the white walkers have been fashioned to resemble trees,  it is fitting that the walkers also wear the 'grey-green,' blue (their eyes), black and white colors of sea and sea foam, which are described running like moonlight on 'water' and changing color as the 'wearer' moves, just as the sea does:

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Game of Thrones - Prologue

A shadow emerged from the dark of the wood. It stood in front of Royce. Tall, it was, and gaunt and hard as old bones, with flesh pale as milk. Its armor seemed to change color as it moved; here it was white as new-fallen snow, there black as shadow, everywhere dappled with the deep grey-green of the trees. The patterns ran like moonlight on water with every step it took.

 

As @Little Scribe of Naath has noted, this 'dappled' camouflage pattern and color scheme is very similar to the 'mottled' robes of the drowned men of the Ironborn:

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The whole "green, blue, black" colour scheme of the sea is the same as the colours of the Drowned Men:

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Drowned men wear roughspun robes of mottled green, grey, and blue, the colours of the Drowned God.

So the DG version of the Old Gods' sacrifices and Red God sacrifices might be this -  drowning of boys so that the "old fish" can eat them. :thumbsup:

Alternatively, 'silver seaweed' also evokes Bloodraven's long, flowing straggly silver-white Targaryen/albino hair which drapes the cavern floor like seaweed:

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'His white hair was fine and thin as root hair and long enough to brush against the earthen floor. Roots coiled around his legs like wooden serpents' (ADWD-Bran II).

As you've intimated, there's a similarity between Bloodraven and the Grey King, and perhaps by implication to all potential greenseers, in this description -- great catch by the way!

On 9/12/2016 at 9:13 PM, @LynnS said:

 

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This could be a reference to the Grey King:

Urrathon IV Goodbrother was a high king known as "Badbrother" during the Age of Heroes

but he is alternatively said to have worn a driftwood crown[1]'s teeth,Nagga and a tall pale crown made from He supposedly wore robes of woven seaweed [3]The Grey King is so named because his hair, beard, and eyes were grey as the winter sea, and at the end of his life even his skin had turned grey.

Goodbrother was a Badbrother -- classic!  Yip, the duality of greenseeing in a nutshell.

 

 

Following the trail of the seaweed, other greenseer candidates might be these:

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A Storm of Swords - Arya IV

Yet even so, the hair on the back of her neck stood up that night. She had been asleep, but the storm woke her. The wind pulled the coverlet right off her and sent it swirling into the bushes. When she went after it she heard voices.

Beside the embers of their campfire, she saw Tom, Lem, and Greenbeard talking to a tiny little woman, a foot shorter than Arya and older than Old Nan, all stooped and wrinkled and leaning on a gnarled black cane. Her white hair was so long it came almost to the ground. When the wind gusted it blew about her head in a fine cloud. Her flesh was whiter, the color of milk, and it seemed to Arya that her eyes were red, though it was hard to tell from the bushes. "The old gods stir and will not let me sleep," she heard the woman say.

 

 

 

Like Bloodraven, the Ghost of High Heart also inhabits a Hollow Hill--thanks @Wizz-The-Smith for bringing the general significance of the 'hollow hills' to our attention!  With her coloring, stooped and gnarled appearance, her name 'Ghost,' as well as her penchant for prophecy, she obviously resembles an ancient weirwood.  What is less obvious, however, is that she resembles an anemone -- both types!  As @hiemal has pointed out, there are two versions of anemone: plant and animal.  The animal is a member of the class Anthozoa, literally 'flower animals.'

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The terrestrial anemone, the flower, was believed classically to bloom only when the wind was blowing- and this, I think, is the key this passage. This is a reference to the Storm God.

The marine anemone is a filter feeder- that is, it feeds solely on what is brought to it by the ocean's currents, the winds of the deep and our link to the Storm God and to the merlings who, like the anemones their women wear, eat what the storm (and their wiles and guile) can provide.

 

That some species of marine anemone are venomous is, of course, also suggestive but I think that the link to the merfolk's tradition of luring ships and sailors to their destruction for food and sport and their link to the Storm God whose prophet Patchface and champion Euron are going to be playing a bigger role in The Winds of Winter is less about poison and more about those winds (or currents).Your identification of the two sorts of anemones (namely, terrestrial vs. marine), which the neologism 'nennymoans' is obviously intended to evoke, neatly fits with my explanation of the 'green see(r)' vs. 'green sea' pun with which GRRM is playing.

 

Your identification of the ambiguity surrounding the word anemone, referring to two possible sorts of anemones (namely, terrestrial vs. marine), which the neologism 'nennymoans' is obviously intended to evoke, corresponds with the 'green see(r)' vs. 'green sea' pun with which GRRM is playing.  Thus, the action of the wind that opens the petals of the windflower -- the terrestrial anemone -- resembles the action of the ocean currents swaying the tentacles of the predatory animals of the order Actiniaria -- including sea anemones, jellyfish, tube-dwelling anemones, corals, and Hydras.

Though diminutive, the Ghost of High Heart cuts an imposing figure, with her long hair gusting about her head in a fine cloud, like a windflower or supercharged sea anemone preparing to strike (her raised hair like feelers or antennae, or satellite dish, abuzz with receiving the messages of the old gods!)  Arya seems to be a 'mini-anemone' in the making, in that the wind similarly raises the hairs on the back of her neck!  This hints at Arya's receptivity to 'third eye' seeing, a talent we see developing later in her.  In exchange for a song from the Brotherhood without banners, the 'ghost' will swap a prophecy.  Note, that Bran is entering into a similar economy with the singers.  While I was reading up on anemones, I noted that anemones engage in symbiotic relationships with other organisms, single-celled dinoflagellates, zooxanthellae or with green algae, zoochlorellae, that live within their cells-- which is interesting in the context of the 'symbiosis' or 'marriage' Bran has entered into with the 'nennymoans'!

I like your emphasis on wind or ocean currents as a major player, however I must confess I can not clearly differentiate storm from wind god, although they may claim they are different entities in the Iron Islands.  Rather, they seem two aspects or 'moods' issuing from the same source.  In the passage which I quoted above, the 'storm' and 'wind' are used interchangeably to designate the force moving through and initiating much of the action,'waking,' 'blowing,' 'gusting,' 'pulling,' 'sending,' 'swirling,' 'stirring'... In regard to the latter, namely 'stirring,' the Ghost of High Heart explicitly attributes this function to 'the old gods who stir and will not let her sleep,' which GRRM neatly juxtaposes with the storm wind that will not let Arya sleep, hinting that this force is one and the same.  

 

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"I dreamt I saw a shadow with a burning heart butchering a golden stag, aye. I dreamt of a man without a face, waiting on a bridge that swayed and swung. On his shoulder perched a drowned crow with seaweed hanging from his wings. 

This one is usually taken to be Euron (Crow's Eye) perched on the faceless man's shoulder.  However, it's possibly a reference to Bloodraven -- a drowned(albino) crow ...'under the sea the crows are white as snow'--perching on Bran's shoulder (as the pesky three-eyed-crow was wont to do in the 'coma dream').  This would mean that Bran, like his sister Arya is one of the 'faceless'.  However, the swaying bridge is more likely to be the one on Pyke than the slender stone bridge over the abyss in the underground cavern, which is never described as swinging in the least, though daunting to cross.

 

In general, there are many 'seaweed' elements in the cavern of singers, including the 'weave' of snaky weirwood roots and the 'rushes'=reeds (interesting that there are two Reeds present accompanying Bran to the cave) providing the 'rushlight' (fire is rather magical in the pitch-dark of the cave).  On a more abstract level, the songs of the singers themselves can be thought of as woven seaweed drifting upwards from the watery depths of the cavern:  

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'Under the hill, the broken boy sat upon a weirwood throne, listening to whispers in the dark as ravens walked up and down his arms.  "You will never walk again," the three-eyed crow had promised, "but you will fly." Sometimes the sound of song would drift up from someplace far below.  The children of the forest, Old Nan would have called the singers, but those who sing the song of earth was their own name for themselves, in the True Tongue that no human man could speak. The ravens could speak it, though. Their small black eyes were full of secrets, and they would caw at him and peck his skin when they heard the songs..' (ADWD-Bran III).

  It's clear that the 'True Tongue' is a magical incantation, or his forebear Brandon the Builder would not have sought the Children's help for specialized architectural help in this regard. Given that Bran the Builder was able to learn the True Tongue, I've previously argued that he too was a greenseer.

Of special interest to our discussion, @Wizz-The-Smith has  drawn my attention to Celtic fairy lore, specifically the myth of the Sidhe, the people of the hollows and mounds, on which the Children and/or Others may be based.  Among several striking similarities, they are shapeshifters whose speech is described as 'silvery'.  Article found here:

 

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"For all the hillside was haunted

By the faery folk come again

And down in the heart-light enchanted

Were opal-coloured men"

-

The Sidhe [pronounced 'shee' as in 'banshee'] are considered to be a distinct race, quite separate from human

beings yet who have had much contact with mortals over the centuries,

and there are many documented testimonies to this. Belief in this race of

beings who have powers beyond those of men to move quickly through the air

and change their shape at will once played a huge part in the lives of people living

in rural Ireland and Scotland.

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It is difficult to pin-point an exact historical era as the time when fairy lore began.

Many writers maintain that the people of Ireland and their Gods before the coming of the Gaels are the 'ancestors' of the sidhe.

Clearly the belief in the sidhe is part of the pre-Christian religion which survived for thousands of years and which has never been completely wiped out from the minds of the people.

When the first Gaels, the sons of Mil, arrived in Ireland, they found that the Tuatha De Danaan, the people of the goddess Dana, already had control of the land. The sons of Mil fought them in battle and defeated them, driving them 'underground' where it is said they remain to this day in the hollow hills or sidhe mounds. In the early Irish manuscripts (which were recorded from an earlier oral tradition) we find references to the Tuatha De Danaan.In 'The Book of the Dun Cow' and the 'Book of Leinster' this race of beings is described as "gods and not gods", pointing to the fact that they are 'something in between'. Also in the Book of the Dun Cow it says of wise men that: "it seems likely to them that they [the Tuatha De Danaan] came from heaven, on account of their intelligence and excellence of their knowledge".

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The hold that the Tuatha De Danaan had on the Irish mind was so strong that the new religion of Christianity could not shake it. In 'The Colloquy of the Ancients' a dialogue which supposedly took place between St. Patrick and the ghost of Caeilte of the Fianna, Patrick is amazed to see a fairy woman coming out of the cave of Cruachan, wearing a green mantle with a crown of gold on her head. 

Whereas the fairy woman is young and beautiful, Caeilte himself is old and withered. When Patrick enquires of this, Caeilte tells him that:

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"She is of the Tuatha De Danaans who are unfading...

and I am of the sons of Mil, who are perishable and fade away".

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The sidhe of the subterranean mounds are also seen by the Irish as the descendants of the old agricultural gods of the Earth, (one of the most important being Crom Cruaich, the Crooked One of the Hill). These gods controlled the ripening of the crops and the milk yields of the cattle, therefore offerings had to be given to them regularly. In the Book of Leinster we discover that after their conquest the Tuatha De Danaan took revenge on  the sons of Mil by destroying their wheat and the goodness of the milk (the sidhe are notorious for this even today). The sons of Mil were thus forced to make a treaty with them, and ever since that time the people of Ireland have honoured this treaty by leaving offerings of milk and butter to the Good People.

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A notable feature of the sidhe is that they have distinct tribes, ruled over by fairy kings and queens in each territory. It would seem that the social order of the sidhe corresponds to the old aristocracy of ancient Irish families,which is in itself a reflection of the ancient Celtic caste system.

It is interesting to note that many of the Irish refer to the sidhe as simply "the gentry", on account of their tall, noble appearance and silvery sweet speech. [@Wizz-the-Smith has connected 'the gentry' in this context with Ser Gendry of the Hollow Hill!]  They have their own palaces where they feast and play music, but also have regular battles with neighbouring tribes. The great fairyhosts seem to be distinctly Milesian, but there are still folk memories of perhaps older pre-Gaelic races and their gods, in the form of the 'geancanach', a spirit of Ulster, or the 'cluricaun',of Munster. We must not forget also the 'leprechaun', a diminutive creature who is said to know the whereabouts of a pot of gold hidden in local fairy raths.                                                     

     The leprechaun could possibly be a folk memory of a dwarfish race of Fir Bolg people who lived in these raths before the coming of the Gaels.

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A distinction is often made between the sidhe who are seen walking on the ground after sunset, and the 'Sluagh Sidhe', the fairy host who travel through the air at night,and are known to 'take' mortals with them on their journeys.

There are also guardian sidhe of most of the lakes of Ireland and Scotland.

These distinct categories of sidhe beings ties in with the testimonies of seers who divide the sidhe into wood spirits, water spirits, air spirits and so on, the elemental spirits of each place.

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Lough Gur in County Limerick is a very magical place where we meet many of the sidhe kings and queens of Ireland. The lake lies within a circle of low lying hills, but once every seven years it appears as dry land, where an entrance to the Land of Youth may be found. The lake's guardian is known as Toice Bhrean (the lazy one) because she neglected to watch over the well, from which the lake sprang forth.It is believed that once every seven years a mortal meets their death by drowning in the lake, 'taken' by the Beann Fhionn, the White Lady.

As @Seams has correctly pointed out, silver carries dual symbolism of healing and harming -- which is the caution attached to any greenseeing activity, isn't it, considering the silver seaweed -- 'wise red leaves' -- may refer to them?

 

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On 9/12/2016 at 1:09 PM, Seams said:

Silver - Often associated with Targaryen or Valyrian hair color. But there was a rumor about Tywin buying silver to make swords to kill wargs and Sansa's hairnet was silver with amethysts. So there's a possibility that silver is associated with delivering death. Silver is also the color of the maester's link for healing, but Cressen specifically says in this prologue that "the world preferred to forget that men who knew how to heal also knew how to kill."

 

@LynnS suggested:

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Wearing Nennymoans or anemones,  stinging or poisonous flowers in their hair, brings to mind Ned's fever dream of a storm of petals as blue as the eyes of death and Sansa's poisonous hair net.   The blue flower at the wall that Dany sees in her vision of HoU: Acontium also called Monkshood or Wolf Bane?

 

That's an interesting thought.  I had previously never considered the blue flower growing from a chink in the wall to be anything other than a blue winter rose, and therefore symbolic of Jon.  However, perhaps the flower is symbolic of Bran instead?  Like the flower growing from the chink in a wall, Bran is characterised as the weirwood sapling growing inexplicably from rock.  Moreover, Bran as a former climbing aficionado, is very at home on a vertical cliff face, so one might expect to find him here.  He also naturally has blue Tully eyes, instead of the grey Stark eyes .  Regarding the symbolism of 'wolfsbane,' I hope Bran is not destined to be the bane of the Starks!

 

Although I've argued one particular case, 

I think the 'nennymoans' could allude to many different things.  I'm tending to @Seams' suggestion that it's an anagram, like 'wise red leaves,' for something.  Although many separate words which might have a bearing can be derived from any given subset of the letters, so far I haven't managed to derive a satisfactory phrase using all the letters.  Possible words include: omen, amen, name, anonyms, anyones, nonman, nonmen, nomen, soma, moneys, annoys, seamy, samey, nosey, manse, yeoman, sonny, nanny, aeons, sane...Basically, a futile and rather 'foolish' exercise at this point in 'scrabble' probably wise not to pursue any longer!

One association which might be relevant, however, is of 'nennymoans' with 'Minoans,' perhaps being a reference to the fall of a once-great civilization that may have been due to some kind of cataclysmic event of the kind speculated to account for the 'Long Night,' namely a volcanic eruption (Thera or Santorini Eruption) giving rise to a tidal wave, drowning much of the land mass, leaving residual islands, and possibly being the event referred to in the myth of the lost city of 'Atlantis.'

 

 

 

 

 

On 9/17/2016 at 6:13 AM, LmL said:

Venus's dead lover is AA, the dark (inverted) solar king. He represents the reborn dark sun and also the moon meteors themselves, which is also what Sansa's amethysts (her nennymnoans) represent, moon meteors

 

Somehow I knew you'd say that!  With a bit of imagination, 'moans' could even become 'moons'...  

On 9/14/2016 at 12:26 AM, Pain killer Jane said:

the purple crystals of Sansa's hairnet are a joke because amethysts are literally named 'not intoxicated' and were used to protect be from intoxication but in the story they are used to deliver poison to the king which when you think about it Joffrey died of alcohol poisoning. Hence the amethyst purpose was inverted. 

The poison used is the Stranger which is a characteristic associated with both vines (in this case grape vines) and snakes.  

Stranger/Strangler...Nice Freudian slip!

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The second thing is the purple eyes of Valyrians who are snakes/dragons and the madness that shows up quite frequently is a corruption of their genes and should right be viewed as poisoned blood. 

The silver too could be viewed as poison because quicksilver or Mercury and we know the toxicity of mercury.

Edit: 

The creation of the Anemone was that Venus mixed her dead lover's blood with nectar and up sprang the flower. Corrupted blood in a sense.

Everything can be said to be 'corrupted' (remember Indra's Net).  Consumption feeds creation.

On 9/17/2016 at 6:13 AM, LmL said:

Sansa's harnet is a terrific, multi-level symbol of meteor dragons (or snakes) coming from the moon. First, Sansa is a moon maiden, with hair kissed by fire. When she lets it free, it tumbles down like a red river - a river of fire. The silver hairnet keeps her river of fire in place, and silver is first and foremost a moon color. When she removes the hairnet. the silver is gone from the moon maiden and a river of fire cascades down. 

That's a really gorgeous description.  'Kissed by fire' is such a vivid image.  The nennymoans are fire kisses!  Your description of Sansa the moon maiden letting her hair free as a metaphor for unleashing some splendid catastrophe reminded me of this description of Ygritte in which disentangling or brushing her hair out is related to the changing of the seasons.  It's an evocative image since brushing ones hair out can create static electricity literally generating sparks!

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A Storm of Swords - Jon II

The wildlings seemed to think Ygritte a great beauty because of her hair; red hair was rare among the free folk, and those who had it were said to be kissed by fire, which was supposed to be lucky. Lucky it might be, and red it certainly was, but Ygritte's hair was such a tangle that Jon was tempted to ask her if she only brushed it at the changing of the seasons.

 

On 9/17/2016 at 7:01 AM, LmL said:

 

           In Riverrun, they would tell you different.  They say the red comet is a herald of a new age.  A messenger from              the gods.”

“A sign it is,” the priest agreed, “but from our god, not theirs. A burning brand it is, such as our people carried of old. It is the flame the Drowned God brought from the sea, and it proclaims a rising tide.  It is time to hoist our sails and go forth into the world with fire and sword, as he did.” 

The Drowned God possesses fire, as I said, and it is the fire of the red comet, of lightbringer. There's even the idea of the drowned god going out with fire and sword, which is great, especially when you just compared the drowned god's fire to the red comet, symbol of Lightbringer. Curiously, there is apparently a version of the Azor Ahai reborn story Stannis has heard which we have not, and he refers to it in ASOS:

His hand swept across the Painted Table. “How many boys dwell in Westeros? How many girls? How many men, how many women? The darkness will devour them all, she says. The night that never ends. She talks of prophecies … a hero reborn in the sea, living dragons hatched from dead stone … she speaks of signs and swears they point to me.”  

For me, the hero reborn in the sea who is set to re-emerge with the 'fire' is Bran.  He's currently the son/sun, therefore solar (? or is he rather lunar, in your opinion) body drowned in a sunless sea of the underground cavern.

 

 

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31 minutes ago, ravenous reader said:

 It's interesting that Shakespeare parallels burying something underground with drowning somebody underwater -- a point I will be making myself for the purposes of my commentary -- for example he even uses a unit of measurement for water, the 'fathom,' to describe the depth underground.  Ironically, Prospero imagines banishing magic underground or underwater, both realms of which figure as prominent locations for concentrating magic in GRRM's world!   

A sea burrial, where somebody's bones are turned into corral. The phrase used in Ariel's song that is now a common phrase is "sea change". Prospero's speech in the end references Ariel's song of the beginning where Ferdinand bemoans the death of his father (who's not truly dead) and Ariel sings his father lies "full fathom five" under the sea.

Full fathom five thy father lies;
Of his bones are coral made;
Those are pearls that were his eyes;
Nothing of him that doth fade,
But doth suffer a sea-change
Into something rich and strange.
Sea-nymphs hourly ring his knell:
Ding-dong.
Hark! now I hear them — Ding-dong, bell.

And both the sea and the ground are "underworlds"; the first is just a very watery one. Before classic times Poseidon was the god of the underworld in the earlier Akkadian times. Even Anderson has echoes of "under the sea" being an underworld in the Little Mermaid.

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13 minutes ago, sweetsunray said:

A sea burrial, where somebody's bones are turned into corral. The phrase used in Ariel's song that is now a common phrase is "sea change".

And both the sea and the ground are "underworlds"; the first is just a very watery one. Before classic times Poseidon was the god of the underworld in the earlier Akkadian times. Even Anderson has echoes of "under the sea" being an underworld in the Little Mermaid.

Nice.  Undergoing a 'sea change', being turned into coral, is a nice analogy for the 'sea change' involved in 'wearing nennymoans in ones hair,' as I've interpreted the transformational process of being 'hooked up' with the weirwoods.  On another thread, @Pain killer Jane has pointed out the lime products used by the Gipps wife of Huzor Amai in her hair are composed of chemically-transformed corals.  

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The second stanza of Ariel's song is the most famous, and I added it above... it includes hearing bells ring... ding-dong bells.

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43 minutes ago, ravenous reader said:

too long ago recognized Shakespeare's influence in GRRM's work (it's already tacitly acknowledged by the author as early as the prologue in the figure of 'Will' as

 

7 minutes ago, ravenous reader said:

Undergoing a 'sea change', being turned into coral, is a nice analogy for the 'sea change' involved in 'wearing nennymoans in ones hair,' as I've interpreted the transformational process of being 'hooked up' with the weirwoods.

Ophelia drowning herself in her madness in Hamlet with flowers in her hair. 

 

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