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Nennymoans and merlings; more Patchface tinfoil


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13 hours ago, Cowboy Dan said:

@ravenous reader

Thanks for sourcing me! Just to clarify (willingly skinchanged is a tad misleading) it's more that Sam invoked any god/demon that would help, then both an Other and the whisperings of the Old Gods answered him. He just naturally let the skinchanging occur like how Dany just knew what to do with the dragon eggs after waking from her fever dream in AGOT. Also of note, that I didn't get into originally, is that it's markedly different from Bran's borderline mind rape of Hodor and is pretty unintrusive. It's easy to gloss over the passage in question as the mental ramblings of a panicked mind.


Loving the rest of the post, it's long enough to be it's own topic. Just read the short version and have the rest bookmarked for later. Off the top of my head though is that in a number of costal/island-based mythologies the underworld is located under the sea/ocean, which fits perfectly with all the mentions of the dead/nearly-dead rejoining the living.

Really glad you said this. That's the main reason I find @LmL's analysis hard to take as something we can use to suss out who will fulfill what role before it actually happens (not trying to imply he said that was possible or his intention). Too often the same scenes or imagery is used but the roles inverted or the dualities flipped in seemingly arbitrary ways because so much of understanding situations is in the context. It's almost like GRRM is treating each dual symbol as interchangeable context switches and seeing how many different combinations he can produce. We can definitely suss out the roles and the actions (at least symbolically) but saying who will be in that role at a specific time is much harder. Who's to say a character doesn't start off as the moon then transitions to sun symbolism or if a character's role is passed on to another -- so there will be more than one person holding the same symbolic importance at different times?

This way greenseers can be both fiery and non-fiery, simply at different times depending on the context. The human heart in conflict with its self.

Hey Cowboy, just wanted to basically agree with you here. Mythical astronomy seems to provide context for things that happen far more than predicting them, certainly. The game is that Martin seems to be stretching his creativity to realize the basic pattern in myriad manifestations, and to fit those different iterations to the needs of the scene and the characters. And to your point, even though Dany shows us the transformation from moon to moon meteor dragons, or you might say from the moon maiden to Azor Ahai reborn, but that doesn't not mean she no longer has lunar symbolism or that she doesn't play a moon role in some scenes. Basically, Dany's mythical astronomy arc is from moon maiden to reborn comet / Morningstar, and that process is depicted over and over, as opposed to happening once in the series and then Dany is never again a moon maiden. 

As for delineating between greenseers, I am emphasizing the transformations that seem to have occurred, not actual different races of greenseers. I agree tha greenseers may be able to work with all elements, fire, ice and water and whatever else. But what I am seeing is that certain greenseers or groups of greenseers did bring about transformations, either of themselves or of other people (no pun intended). (Actually... pun intended.) Azor Ahai / the Grey King seems to be a greenseer who "played with fire" as you say - he stole the fire of the gods, which may mean several things, as I've discussed, bringing about a transformation. After that time, he is what I call a fiery greenseer. I have various ideas about what that might look like (undead, for example) but that's beside the point. 

Transformation is the point  Many have long suspected that the children or greenseer magic more generally played a part in creating the Others, and I am one of them. Raising wights might be skinchanging the dead, for example. The Others themselves may very well be greenseers who transformed via ice. You wouldn't call them greenseers anymore, but that's basically what they are if that theory is true. 

I suspect that the creation of the dragon bond has to do with modifying greenseer / skinchanger magic, though again that is speculative. 

So yes, fire and ice magic, per se, are probably just aspects of greenseer magic. But once someone transforms themselves, they become something else. 


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On 2016-09-22 at 5:47 PM, ravenous reader said:

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

I've read this over three times now!  I do like your take on the nennymoans and  under the sea imagery.  Yes a blue flower is usually associated with Lyanna or Jon.  Acontium grows as far north as Labrador and is quite poisonous.  So perhaps the duality of Jon, Monk's Hood and Bran 'Wolf's Bane'.  I'm not sure about Bran fitting the AA role although I can see him intervening with all the major character's in some way.

I'm curious now about Bloodraven and Dany.  I wonder if her dragon fever dream was a kind of 3EC intervention with BR appearing as a dragon to her as opposed to a crow for Bran.  Her dream of becoming a dragon and flying has a kind of resonance with Bran's coma dream.   

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20 hours ago, LynnS said:

I've read this over three times now!  I do like your take on the nennymoans and  under the sea imagery.  Yes a blue flower is usually associated with Lyanna or Jon.  Acontium grows as far north as Labrador and is quite poisonous.  So perhaps the duality of Jon, Monk's Hood and Bran 'Wolf's Bane'.  I'm not sure about Bran fitting the AA role although I can see him intervening with all the major character's in some way.

I'm curious now about Bloodraven and Dany.  I wonder if her dragon fever dream was a kind of 3EC intervention with BR appearing as a dragon to her as opposed to a crow for Bran.  Her dream of becoming a dragon and flying has a kind of resonance with Bran's coma dream.   

You know in this sense while Dany and Jon have been the touted as the opposites to each other, Bran is the actual opposite to Dany's fire.

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On 12-9-2016 at 7:09 PM, Seams said:

Silver is also the color of the maester's link for healing, but Cressen specifically says of the silver link in this prologue that "the world preferred to forget that men who knew how to heal also knew how to kill."

Interesting point:

We have the catspaw and his bag of "silver" to do a "mercy" on a boy who's as good as dead (Bran).

We have the First FM who gave slaves who begged for death the Gift with poison, and I've long proposed the First may actually have been a healer who visited with the slaves and had freedom of movement who ended up assisting them in their suicidal wish. Not sure whether we have "silver" connections for the First of the FM.

MMD lacks silver ties, but she's a healer yet accused of having poisoned Drogo and murdering Rhaego.

This also makes me put question marks behind Dany's Silver, which was a wedding gift to her from Drogo, and "gifts" tend to be "poisonous" or detrimental to the one they''re given to.

On 12-9-2016 at 9:39 PM, Blue-Eyed Wolf said:

he crab part has me stumped, unless it refers to the ironborn as from the sea, but not fishes.  Crabs are hard on the outside and they pick off the remains of the dead (paying the iron price).

I'd look for the Crabbs of Cracklaw Point and the merlings... perhaps not as a literal answer, but symbolical and metaphorical ties. Nimble Dick is a Crabb, calls himself as the one who "fooled a fool", ends up being killed by a fool with a "morningstar" jumping out of the red leaves of a sappling weirwood growing in the yard of the "whispers". He tells how Cracklaw Point was never conquered and nobody manages to tax them, certainly not the Crabbs, but where Andals and others failed with armies, their daughters succeeded through marriage. They also bent the knee to the Targs and were always loyal to them, because they were no fools when it comes to dragons.

There's also a scene where Septon Meribald's Dog hunts crabs in the muds of the terrain as Brienne, Podrick, Hyle and SM make their way to Quiet Isle.

While there certainly can be connections made to the Ironborn (the sea wolves), the Andals also crossed the Narrow Sea and brought the Faith with them.


On 12-9-2016 at 7:09 PM, Seams said:

But I forgot that Melisandre puts Patchface's stag helmet on Cressen's head before he drinks the poison. I bet that's significant - not only because it shows that Cressen is a "fool" (which means he is wise but that people around him don't recognize his wisdom); but also because the helmet with antlers represents King Robert and King Renly. In Cressen's death, we are actually seeing an echo of Robert's death by poisoned wine and foreshadowing of Renly's death by Melisandre's magic.

We totally get the fool-stag as sacrifice for the turn of the seasons here: Harlequin with the motley and bells, the stag who sheds his antlers in winter (and is sick and weak) before he grows a new "rack" in spring.

Cressen is physically "weak" from "old age", having had a hip injury, not invited to the feast for Stannis believed him too weak, Mel's mockery, making him a fool. Some of the older celebrations of carnival had those dressed as fools wear antlers with bells on their head. Or a hunted stag would have bells attached to his antlers as he was carried back. 

Straight up carnaval sacrafice scene, except George has it occur with the coming of the fall, and thus another costumed feast "Halloween" where people wore masks to frighten the spirits of the dead that might come for them, as with Halloween or All Hallow's Eve the "dead come to dance" 


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On 14-9-2016 at 1:26 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

Also reminds me of the Stark words, "Winter is coming", but there are those (fools) who believe in everlasting summer.


On 14-9-2016 at 1:26 AM, Pain killer Jane said:

for me 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. 

And yet the silver link of healers and Cressen's words say that men often forget that those who can heal know the power of killing by poison too.

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On 14-9-2016 at 9:36 PM, hiemal said:

We have one "sword" quenched in water- this I believe refers to a mingling of GEoDawnian and Deep One lines and to Jon Snow  in the present; one "sword" quenched in the blood of a lion- sounds like the infamous tiger bride (A Lengi from the land of 10,000 tigers and CoTF relative?) and like the child-sized lionspawn Tyrion; and our final "sword" via Nissa-Nissa, the creation of dragons both then and with Dany.

The water-lion heart- and bride theme appears in Jaime's aSoS arc and Sam's aFfC's arc, not with "swords" however, but arrows.

As Jaime and Brienne are chased in their boat on the Red Fork by the men sent by Edmure to retrieve Jaime arrows fly and land in water. At the Inn of the Kneelig Men, Boy holds a loaded crossbolt to his "lion's" heart. The sword fight with the Beauty gets him caught by Urswyck of the Bloody Mummers. And then we get the sequence of Jaime saving Brienne from the bearpit, and "stealing" her away by force from Vargo Hoat to whom she was given by Roose Bolton.

On the sea voyage to Oldtown from Braavos, the Cinnamon Wind that Sam's on is first hunted by pirates. He shoots arrows along with the Summer Islanders at the pirate ships. He doesn't even manages to hit the ships, as his arrows land in "water". Then they're hunted by Ironborn. This time he manages to hit a ship. In that paragraph Kojja Mo's bow made from "goldenheart" wood is also mentioned, and we associate "gold" with "lions". And of course Sam hits the mark with his fat pink mast and Gilly decleares herself his wife from now on. And he also arrives at Oldtown and meets the Sphynx (the riddle) who can teach him more of that bowshooting.

On 16-9-2016 at 8:09 PM, Pain killer Jane said:

But I have a feeling it is talking about a volcano eruption. 

the snow and bone is altogether an underworldly allusion : the white of the weirwoods is the white of bones, snow is a sign of winter. But then we also have Mel who sees only 'Snow' and 'skulls' which are bones. And then there's my avalanche theory for the Vale that would make a bony graveyard out of the Gates of the Moon.


On 16-9-2016 at 10:31 PM, Pain killer Jane said:

Blacks Ears- not sure on this one

Several characters with ear injuries appear: Craster lost his to the 'bite (the frost), Gared lost them too to the 'bite (and his head to Ice's bite). Brienne bites Vargo Hoat's ear that festers, turns black and makes him sick (gangreen).  Frostbite btw also shows as blackened skin. There's a few more figures with missing ears but cannot recall them for the moment. The Black Ears cut off ears of their enemies, so the Black Ears are like "frost" or "ice".


On 16-9-2016 at 10:31 PM, Pain killer Jane said:

Burned Men- remember that they were originally painted dogs transformed when they worshiped a fire witch and her dragon.

Painted Dogs- this is the direct translation of the name Lycoan Pictus or the African wild dog but an alternative name for them is painted wolf. It was once believed to be a hybrid between a leopard and a wolf and yes there are wolves in Africa. And the word Lycoan means "wolf-like". This is probably why you have skinchangers wargs (wolf) and then Tiger Men (from Leng) and Arya who can warg both wolves and cats naturally versus Varramyr's domination. 

We also have the Cleganes with dogs "painted" on their shield (and the paint of Gregor's shield that is meant to hide the dogs in the fight against Oberyn is scraped off). While one of the dogs, the Hound, is a burned man.


On 16-9-2016 at 10:31 PM, Pain killer Jane said:

Redsmiths- Azor Ahai

But also the "wanderer" right and the "thief"?


On 17-9-2016 at 7:13 AM, LmL said:

I sat up and took notice. The dragon meteor children of the moon disaster are associated with morningstar mythology (Venus mythology), so if the anemone is made form the blood of Venus's dead lover... in ASOIAF, 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. 

The dead lover was Adonis, raised by both Aphrodite (Venus) and Persephone, with the two bickering over who he gets to spend time with. Zeus decrees he must stay with Persephone 1/3 of the year, 1/3 with Aphrodite and he's free to choose where to stay the other 1/3, and he chooses Aphrodite. When he dies he must go to the underworld forever and Aphrodite threatens to join him there, for she cannot stand being separated from him. Zeus then decides that Adonis will spend half a year with Aphrodite, the other half with Persephone in Hades. He emerges with spring.

He loved hunting. Aphrodite was fearful for him over this, but he refused to foreswear hunting. He's killed when he chases a boar in the woods. The boar turned around and gored him. The particular revenge motives differ, but it's said that the huntress goddess Artemis sent that boar to avenge herself, either on Aphrodite or on Adonis himself. We have however all the basic elements of the "'wild hunt" here: a boar, doesn't want to stop hunting, becomes a chthonic figure, but keeps sun elements. And of course we also find a match for Robert's death with Adonis' death.

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On 17-9-2016 at 9:10 PM, LynnS said:

Dany was also reborn amidst smoke and salt during MMD's ritual; smoke of the fire and salt tears.  It's possible that she died during childbirth and the life that was saved was her own.  I say this because when Beric is questioned about the other side; he says there is nothing but blackness and he awakes to the taste of ashes in his mouth.  Before Jorah takes Dany into the tent everything goes black and there are no stars in the sky.  She also wakes with the taste of ashes in her mouth.  

:o Very interesting parallel! I do find her dreams afterwards as something that happened to her, not just Rhaego. That might explain why she was rather invulnerable to fire around that time. Beric died several times in all sorts of ways, but I don't recall any death by flame or fire for him. And his blood was used to put his sword aflame. 

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On 19-9-2016 at 11:39 AM, Regular John Umber said:

Apologies if this has been raised in the previous posts: Patchface drowned, right? So could all of his 'under the sea' references refer to death, or the afterlife? 

Yes. Sometimes, the subaqsuatic is an "underworld" as well. Subterranean and subaquatic are both "underworlds" or "realms of the dead/ghosts/..."

And when Ned-Hades, ruler of the subterranean, dies we get several subaquatic related claimants trying for Winterfell (Theon and Stannis, with his Dragonstone and Master of Ships association) and the usurping Boltons who like to try on Stark cloaks.

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On 19-9-2016 at 5:35 PM, LmL said:

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. 

He has Re-Atum or Tem associations. Atum was the Egyptian creator god, who when old grew weary of creation and wanted to destroy it. In time his creation Ra and the sun were unified with him too. Hence Ra or Re-Atum. He journeys along with the night sun to protect him from his enemies, slaying snakes and such, and Robb's army is compared to a snake crossing the Twins by Cat in aGoT.

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