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Heresy 192 The Wheel of Time

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Welcome to Heresy 192, the latest edition of the quirky thread where we take an in-depth look at the story and in particular what GRRM has referred to as the real conflict, not the Game of Thrones, but the apparent threat which lies in  the North, in the magical otherlands beyond the Wall. It’s called Heresy because we were the first to challenge the orthodoxy that the Wall is the last best hope of mankind; to question whether the three-fingered tree-huggers really are kindly elves and question too whether the Starks might have a dark secret in their past.

The strength and the beauty and ultimately the value of Heresy as a critical discussion group is that it reflects diversity and open-ness. This is a thread where ideas can be discussed – and argued – freely, because above all it is about an exchange of ideas and sometimes too a remarkably well informed exchange drawing upon an astonishing broad base of literature ranging through Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness and so many others all to the way to the Táin Bó Cúailnge and the Mabinogion.

If new to the thread, don’t be intimidated by the size and scope of Heresy, or by some of the many ideas we’ve discussed here over the years since it began in 2011. This is very much a come as you are thread with no previous experience required. We’re very welcoming and we’re very good at talking in circles and we don’t mind going over old ground again, especially with a fresh pair of eyes, so just ask. You will neither be monstered, patronized nor directed to follow links, but will be engaged directly. Just be patient and observe the local house rules that the debate be conducted by reference to the text, with respect for the ideas of others, and above all with great good humour

We’ve been around for a while now and discussed an awful lot of stuff over the last five years. Some of it has been overtaken by events and some of it seemingly confirmed by the mummers’ version, but notwithstanding the occasional crack-pottery on the whole its been pretty good stuff and we’re pleased enough with what we’ve done to have a bit of a celebration. In the run-up to Heresy 100 we ran a series of specially commissioned essays focused on discrete aspects of heresy. Now, in the run-up to the Heresy bicentennial we are running a series of essays summarizing  what we’ve been discussing on particular aspects of Heresy. Some of it goes over old ground again, but other essays bring some new ideas to the table. The essays are just starters for 10 so while its hoped that we can focus the discussion on them, that’s not to be considered as prescriptive, to paraphrase GRRM himself, Heresy is a matter of gardening, not architecture.

And for the second essay we have a newly commissioned one from Feather Crystal setting out the Wheel of Time theory which she’s been advocating for some time now…

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The Wheel of Time - Eating the Dragon’s Tail

Preface

I would like to preface this essay by saying that this theory is not all mine. It has been developed over many months of discussion, not only here on Heresy and other threads on Westeros, but on another forum…a think tank of creatives called The House of Black and White, or Hobaw for short. I cannot claim ownership for my ideas when they are birthed from the ideas of others.

Introduction

“The dragon is time. It has no beginning and no ending, so all things come round again. .." 

The ouroboros or uroboros is an ancient symbol depicting a serpent or dragon eating its own tail. It often symbolizes the sense of something constantly re-creating itself, the eternal return, and other things which operate in cycles that begin anew as soon as they end. This is the basic premise of my theory: that there is a wheel of time in Westeros, but it is cycling in reverse. The dragon is eating itself inside out.

Black and White Connection:

@LynnS supplied this:

In alchemy, the ouroboros is a sigil. Swiss psychologist Carl Jung saw the ouroboros as an archetype and the basic mandala of alchemy. Jung also defined the relationship of the ouroboros to alchemy:

“The alchemists, who in their own way knew more about the nature of the individuation process than we moderns do, expressed this paradox through the symbol of the Ouroboros, the snake that eats its own tail. The Ouroboros has been said to have a meaning of infinity or wholeness. In the age-old image of the Ouroboros lies the thought of devouring oneself and turning oneself into a circulatory process, for it was clear to the more astute alchemists that the prima materia of the art was man himself. The Ouroboros is a dramatic symbol for the integration and assimilation of the opposite, i.e. of the shadow. This 'feed-back' process is at the same time a symbol of immortality, since it is said of the Ouroboros that he slays himself and brings himself to life, fertilizes himself and gives birth to himself. He symbolizes the One, who proceeds from the clash of opposites, and he therefore constitutes the secret of the prima materia which [...] unquestionably stems from man's unconscious.” - Wikipedia

A Song of Ice and Fire clashes with opposites, but they are two sides of the same coin. Black and white, ice and fire, white shadows and black shadowbabies, ebony and weirwood, swords Ice and Dawn, north and south.  There are even parallel inverted characters:

1) the two Kingsguards Ser Arthur Dayne and Sandor Clegane. The former being the shining example of what a knight should be, while the latter is the complete opposite. Over time however, we change our view of Sandor who proves that while imperfect, he is actually an honorable man which leads us to wonder if maybe Arthur wasn’t? 

2) Rhaegar Targaryen, the perfect prince that no one seemed to have a bad thing to say about him, and his modern day inversion Joffrey Baratheon, whom everyone hates. 

3) Lady Barbary mysteriously accused Lord Rickard Stark of "southron ambitions” making alliances with southern houses, while his son Lord Eddard Stark would rather stay home in the North and strengthen the bonds with his northern bannermen. 

4) Cersei Lannister (presumably) went behind her father's back and got King Aerys to appoint Jaime to the Kingsguard, while Sansa Stark went behind her father's back to prevent her father from returning his family to Winterfell. 

5) The wolfmaid fought three squires for dishonoring the crannogman who was also her father’s bannerman, and in Ned’s fever dream he fights three men while looking for Lyanna and is helped by Howland.

This is by no means a complete list, and is only meant as a sampling to get your brain started.

Evidence of the Wheel

“I am the storm, my lord. The first storm, and the last.” - Euron Greyjoy

The Kraken’s Daughter

Asha asks her uncle to lend her his history book so she can read about the last kingsmoot, and Rodrik frowns and says,

“Archmaester Rigney once wrote that history is a wheel, for the nature of man is fundamentally unchanging. What has happened before will perforce happen again.” 

Rodrik says he thinks about what Rigney said whenever he thinks about Euron and how much he’s like Urron Greyiron, the man that butchered his way to the top at the last kingsmoot.

The mention of Archmaester Rigney is a reference to Robert Jordan, author of the Wheel of Time series. Robert Jordan is a pen name. His real name is James Oliver Rigney Jr.

The Soiled Knight

Arianne brings up House Toland of Ghost Hill whose sigil is a dragon eating it's own tail. 

“The dragon is time. It has no beginning and no ending, so all things come round again. Anders Yronwood is Criston Cole reborn.”

Memories Of A Thousand Years Ago:

@macgregorofthenorth said:

I’ve been thinking about a saying I've seen scattered through the books and I wonder if it carries more meaning than it appears to. I know that especially when it's said by a member of house Stark it is meant to imply the sayer has been through so much in the story that their memories literally seem to have happened a thousand years ago. But, I also wonder if it is a cheeky wee clue or nod to the idea that there are time loops and that these things have 'happened before' a long time ago, if you get my meaning. In spare time I gathered together the quotes. See below.

AGOT JON IV:

"Jon told the story of how he and Robb had found the pups newborn in the late summer snows. It seemed a thousand years ago now.”

AGOT CAT XI:

"It seemed a thousand years ago that Catelyn Stark had carried her infant son out of Riverrun, crossing the Tumblestone in a small boat to begin their journey north to Winterfell.”

ACOK ARYA IV:

"It seemed a thousand years ago now, something that had happened to a different person in a different life . .”

ACOK JON III:

"On the way back to Winterfell, Jon and Robb had raced, and found six direwolf pups in the snow. A thousand years ago.”

ASOS PROLOGUE (Mormont):

"Die," screamed Mormont's raven, flapping its black wings. "Die, die, die."

"Many of us," the Old Bear said. "Mayhaps even all of us. But as another Lord Commander said a thousand years ago, that is why they dress us in black."

ASOS CAT III:

"The north is hard and cold, and has no mercy, Ned had told her when she first came to Winterfell a thousand years ago."

ASOS SANSA V:

"The king was dead, the cruel king who had been her gallant prince a thousand years ago."

ADWD BRAN III:

"I was going to be a knight, Bran remembered. I used to run and climb and fight. It seemed a thousand years ago"

ADWD THE UGLY LITTLE GIRL:

"A thousand years ago, she had known a girl who loved lemon cakes. No, that was not me, that was only Arya."

ADWD DAENERYS X

"North they flew, beyond the river, Drogon gliding on torn and tattered wings through clouds that whipped by like the banners of some ghostly army. Dany glimpsed the shores of Slaver's Bay and the old Valyrian road that ran beside it through sand and desolation until it vanished in the west. The road home. Then there was nothing beneath them but grass rippling in the wind. Was that first flight a thousand years ago? Sometimes it seemed as if it must be.”

@Seams found this one:

AFFC Jaime V 

"A man such as Tywin Lannister comes but once in a thousand years," declared her husband.

“Tyrion is Tywin's son, not you. I said so once to your father's face, and he would not speak to me for half a year. Men are such thundering great fools. Even the sort who come along once in a thousand years.”

Two Stories - Current and Inverted

Jojen tells Bran about the sea coming to Winterfell and seeing drowned bodies of people he now recognizes. Bran doesn't believe him at first so he tells him about little Walder and big Walder recieving a poor cut of meat witch they relish and Bran recieves he best cut which he doesn't enjoy. Then they recieve the news that Walder's uncle has been killed in battle and boys are delighted because that changes the succession. Then Bran realizes that Jojen is telling the truth and wants to warn everyone. Jojen says it doesn't matter that green dreams are true when the outcome cannot be changed. Alebelly hears the news that he will drown and refuses to bathe and go to the well. He stays behind at Winterfell instead of going with the war party towards the sea. In the end he is killed by Theon’s Ironborn men. The sea came to Winterfell.

George has been telling two stories simultaneously. One story is the one that appears on the surface, and the second story is inverted. We can learn the past and future by examining what the current characters are doing. For example, the Greyjoys are mimicking the Targaryens. Both families live on rocky outcroppings. Both areas are too stony to provide all the resources that they need. Both families choose to to take what they want by force rather than negotiate politically. Both are associated with "iron". The Greyjoys are ironmen from the iron islands, and Victarion is the iron captain. The Targaryens conquered the Seven Kingdoms, taking their iron swords and hammered them into an iron throne, making the very words “Iron Throne" to be the definition of "ruling". Both are associated with the wind. The Greyjoys need wind for their sails, while the Targaryen dragons fly in the sky. The Targaryens displaced the rule of Andals who brought the technology of creating iron swords to Westeros. The Greyjoys are descendants of people who survived the hammer of waters that separated their home from the mainland. They were effectively warded (ironed) until they built ships, so they were reborn from the iron (ward). Yet the Greyjoys are more like Blackfyres than Targaryens, and I for one think they will succeed where the Blackfyres have failed, because that is the inverted future.

The Reaver chapter is about Victorian's successful invasion of the Shield Islands, but the inversion story is Bittersteel's failure in the First Blackfyre Rebellion. Bittersteel landed with the Golden Company on Massey's Hook in an attempt to seat Daemon Blackfyre on the throne. I haven't completed deciphering this chapter so I don’t understand the entirety of what GRRM is trying to convey, but I do believe that all of the inversion chapters are meant to tell us the details leading into Robert's Rebellion, and what to expect in the future. The Reaver is a history lesson meant to shed light onto why Bloodraven became a greenseer. We are illuminated by examining what Euron is doing and then apply the inversion to Bloodraven.

The Titled Inversion Chapters

Through the Looking Glass, and What Alice Found There is the sequel novel to Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and was written in 1871. Alice is playing with a white kitten named Snowdrop and a black kitten called Kitty, when she ponders what the world would be like on the other side of the mirror’s reflection. She climbs up onto the fireplace mantel to poke at the mirror and discovers that she is able to step through it to an alternate world. She finds a book of poetry named Jabberwocky, whose reversed print can only be read by holding it up to the mirror. Alice met a well known nursery rhyme creature called Humpty Dumpty, but in GRRM's tale we know him as Patchface, and he has been trying to tell us that ASOIAF is Jabberwocky, and that the north is upside down and under water: 

Under the sea, smoke rises in bubbles, and flames burn green and blue and black. I know, I know, oh, oh, oh.

Under the sea the old fish eat the young fish. Up here the young fish teach the old fish.

Under the sea the mermen feast on starfish soup, and all the serving men are crabs.

The crow, the crow. Under the sea the crows are white as snow, I know, I know, oh, oh, oh.

I will lead it! We will march into the sea and out again. Under the waves we will ride seahorses, and mermaids will blow seashells to announce our coming, oh, oh, oh.

There are currently thirty “Jabberwocky” chapters beginning in A Feast for Crows and ending in A Dance with Dragons, thirty one if you count the new The Foresaken chapter, but for one reason or another they are not named after the character like the rest of the chapters; they are titled. ”Victarion" becomes The Iron Captain and The Reaver. Asha becomes The Kraken's Daughter and The Wayward Bride. And Arianne becomes The Queenmaker and The Princess in the Tower. It is my belief that GRRM is using these titled chapters to tell us two stories cycling on the ouroboros: the current cycle and a previous cycle. Once you recognize the parallel inversions exist you will have a new understanding of the present story, realize that you are also reading about an inverted past, and gain insight into it’s inverted future.

While many readers have theorized the meanings of the various parallels and inversions, I had missed the significance of the titled chapters until my attention was redirected towards them by regular jon umber who was the first to wonder if these chapters meant anything. I set to work reading and writing chapter summaries, but it wasn't until I got to The Iron Captain that the proverbial lightbulb came on and I realized that the "Ironborn" was a metaphor for the Iron Throne.

How many instances has some character said another character has been reborn? The wheel of time has come around again, but since the dragon has eaten itself inside out the present is a mirrored reversal of the past. The results are not all strict opposites. I like to think of the people of Westeros as playing a giant game of cyvasse: different Houses, similar circumstances, differing results. Recall how the game is played. Each player sets up a shield to conceal how they setup their pieces. The shield is symbolic of the warding of the Wall. Once the pieces are in place, the shield is removed and play begins. 

Quaithe's instructions to Dany seem to confirm that the ouroboros has turned inside out:

Dany’s wrist still tingled where Quaithe had touched her. “Where would you have me go?” she asked. 

“To go north, you must journey south. To reach the west, you must go east. To go forward you must go back, and to touch the light you must pass beneath the shadow.”

In other words, if she wants to navigate this mirrored reality she has to do the opposite of whatever her natural inclination is.

The Mirri Maz Duur Prophecy Deciphered - courtesy of LynnS: 

1) when the sun rises in the West and sets in the East, (when time runs backwards)

2) when the seas dry up (when the Narrow Sea is absorbed into the ice pack, or freeze dries)

3) when mountains blow in the wind like leaves (when the horn of Joramun blows and the Wall   swirls away in a cloud of ice crystals)

The Consuming Wheel Is Expelling

How did the ouroboros get turned inside out? It has to do with the Wall. LynnS described how the Wall was built as a consuming wheel, drawing the cold unto itself. She also described how it’s shape was as a sword without a hilt. The east is the straight sword, while the west is like a serpent. There is no safe way to wield it. The Wall consumed the killing cold by drawing it up unto itself, and indirectly it pulled warmer air up in it's wake, thus the extended summers. At the same time it is pulling cold air from the north until there is so much cold air that it forces the warmer air south again, thus the extended winter. In this way the Wall "breathes". 

When the Wall was first built, it had a lot of catching up to do. It drew all the cold air unto it and at the same time it pulled so hard that a rush of warmth was brought north. A movement like that may have caused a great gust of air that could in theory have stoked a very large flame. Thus, the creation of the Wall may have been like a giant billows feeding the flames of Valyrian volcanoes, and over thousands of years lead to The Doom. It may even explain the destruction of Hardhome if a volcano was once active there.

The building of the Wall was necessary to consume the killing cold, but the larger it gets the more dangerous it becomes. As it inhales and consumes the cold, the subsequent exhale brings even more cold down from the north building it higher and making it stronger. At the end of Dance the Wall is currently exhaling, but it is also expelling, because whatever magic created it has been reversed. The removal of the ward not only caused the Wall to begin expelling, it flipped the wheel of time and caused the great Houses to flip positions on the wheel.

Readers have speculated that the winter storm reported at the end of Dance is emanating out of Winterfell, but what if that's due to tunnels underground leading from the Wall to Winterfell? The Wall is supposed to be warded, but if there are tunnels where the killing cold has found an exit, then that implies that it is the location where the ward went missing. Like Lady Dyanna suggested, there is no Stark in Winterfell.

The Relationship Between Iron And Wards

@ravenousreader says:

According to the geomagnetic shift/polar reversal analogy, the earth's magnetic field is generated by the earth's dynamic iron core, so a shift thereof which can be construed as a symbolic opening/unlocking could indeed be configured as an 'iron gate' swinging down below!  Magnetism derives from, and is held in place by an iron foundation (although this is paradoxically always in flux). Wildly extrapolating, perhaps GRRM's concept of magic like magnetism hinges on iron!  After all, iron swords, like compass needles, are used as wards on tombs to ensure the proper alignment between the cardinal polarities of the living and the dead. 

The Starks may have served as an iron sword and ward on one of the major exits. It is interesting that the ascendance of the Ironborn is also connected to this magnetic and magical iron/ward connection. If I were a detective investigating a crime, my first suspect would be “who benefits”?

The Great Cycles

A Clash of Kings: Theon talking with Aeron:

“Every morning brings a new day, much like the old."

“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.

The wheel of time or ouroboros has two kinds of cycles. There are shorter generational cycles and larger great cycles that may take a hundred or even several hundred years to complete. The shorter cycles are repeated lives which continue to occur generation, after generation, after generation. The most apparent repeating cycle is of the blood magic ritual. Think tower of joy, Mirri’s tent revival, King Bob’s death scene, the battle between Jaime and Ned outside the brothel, and Brienne’s fight against three men at the whispers. This is by no means a complete list, but for a more thorough discussion you can visit King Monkey’s thought provoking thread The Puppets of Ice and Fire:

The Targaryens seemed to have acknowledged that they were aware this was happening, because certain family members would "fulfill" certain roles: the reader, the warrior, the sept/septon, sighting the red comet, etc. Rhaegar thought he was the reader, then he read something that made him think he was meant to be the warrior. He also thought he was the Prince that was Promised, and then decided it must be his son, Aegon. I believe he changed his mind, because he discovered the red comet wasn't seen prior to his own birth. 

The wildlings too know that when the Thief is in the Moonmaid constellation it's a good time to steal a woman. 

If you know these same events are going to happen, you can change the outcome by changing who it happens to, basically change the present and you can change the future.

There seems to be smaller repeated cycles where there are generations of people acting like someone from their family’s past, and there are also larger greater cycles of major events:

Birth 

Human invasion

Pact

Broken Pact

Blood Magic Ritual

The Red Comet

Cataclysmic Event

 

Now apply this great cycle to each major migration. I’ve got them in order of how I think they happened:

1) Birth - Dawn Age

2) First Men Invastion

3) Pact between First Men and Children

4) Broken Pact

5) Blood Magic Ritual

6) The first sighting of the red comet

7) Cataclysmic Event - Hammer of Waters (tempered in water)

 

1) Rebirth

2)  Andal Invasion

3)  Pact - Children & First Men on one side, Andals on the other

4)  Broken Pact

5)  Blood Magic Ritual

6)  The red comet is sighted

7)  Cataclysmic Event - Long Night (heart of the lion) creation of white walkers

 

1)  Attempt at Rebirth, but darkness covers Westeros

2)  Last Hero seeks out the Children

3)  Pact - First Men remind Children of their agreement

4)  Blood Magic Ritual - sacrifice of greenseers

5)  The red comet - moon “broken” (sword tempered in Nissa Nissa)

6)  Cataclysmic event - meteors rain down on Westeros - first Night’s Watch w/fiery swords

7)  Wall built to consume the killing cold

 

1) Rebirth of survivors

2) Ironborn raid mainland, 

3) Pact - intermarriage between kingdoms

4) Broken Pacts - Wars between kingdoms

5) Magic is despised - no blood magic ritual

6) The Red Comet is sighted

7) Wall overtaken by Andals

 

1)  Rebirth 

2)  Rhoynar migration

3)  Pact - intermarriage between Rhoynar & Dorne

4)  Broken Pact - 7 Kingdoms fight amongst themselves

5)  Lord’s First Night tradition mimics the taking of the moon(maid)

6)  The Red Comet is sighted

7)  Cataclysmic Event - The Doom of Valyria 

 

1) Rebirth

2) Targaryen dragonlord invasion

3) Pact - unites the 7 Kingdoms

4) Blood Magic Ritual - Summerhal - out of sequence

5) No Red Comet - out of sequence

6) Storm Lord kidnaps Moonmaid

7) Broken Pact - Targaryen rule extinguished - Andals retake Iron Throne - out of sequence

8) Blood Magic Ritual - Tower of Joy - out of sequence

9) The Red Comet is sighted

10) Blood Magic Ritual - Mirri’s tent - Drogo’s false resurrection - ritual incomplete

11) Drogo’s funeral pyre - Mirri sacrificed - blood magic ritual completed - wheel is broken

12) Ouroboros turns inside out

Breaking the World and Rebuilding it Through Inversions

The three successive blood magic rituals: Summerhal, Tower of Joy, and Mirri's tent, made it possible for Drogo’s funeral pyre to break the world and reverse time. The dragon has been reborn, breaking the world, so that it can be rebuilt. This is a similar theme in Robert Jordan’s book series, The Wheel of Time.

The three swords are also described symbolically during Drogo’s funeral pyre:

She had sensed the truth of it long ago, Dany thought as she took a step closer to the conflagration, but the brazier had not been hot enough. The flames writhed before her like the women who had danced at her wedding, whirling and singing and spinning their yellow and orange and crimson veils, fearsome to behold, yet lovely, so lovely, alive with heat. Dany opened her arms to them, her skin flushed and glowing. This is a wedding, too, she thought.

She heard a crack, the sound of shattering stone. The platform of wood and brush and grass began to shift and collapse in upon itself. Bits of burning wood slid down at her, and Dany was showered with ash and cinders. And something else came crashing down, bouncing and rolling, to land at her feet; a chunk of curved rock, pale and veined with gold, broken and smoking. The roaring filled the world, yet dimly through the firefall Dany heard women shriek and children cry out in wonder. Only death can pay for life.

And there came a second crack, loud and sharp as thunder, and the smoke stirred and whirled around her and the pyre shifted, the logs exploding as the fire touched their secret hearts. She heard the screams of frightened horses, and the voices of the Dothraki raised in shouts of fear and terror, and Ser Jorah calling her name and cursing. No, she wanted to shout to him, no, my good knight, do not fear for me. The fire is mine. I am Daenerys Stormborn, daughter of dragons, bride of dragons, mother of dragons, don’t you see? Don’t you SEE? With a belch of flame and smoke that reached thirty feet into the sky, the pyre collapsed and came down around her. Unafraid, Dany stepped forward into the firestorm, calling to her children.

The third crack was as loud and sharp as the breaking of the world.

The funeral pyre was a magical rite that had all the symbolic elements of the origin story of Westeros. The three cracks symbolize the three swords the Children forged: the hammer of waters (tempered in water), the heart of the lion (white walkers), and the loss of a moon (Nissa Nissa). 

The chunk of curved rock pale and veined with gold is meant to symbolize the moon. The first “breaking” was just a crack: the hammer of waters. The roaring filled the world, yet the voices of women and children shrieking could still be heard. Only death can pay for life.

The smoke “stirred and whirled around her” symbolizes the blowing snow that came with the “heart of the lion” which were the white walkers that were created when the Children decided they needed to fight back. Frightened horses screamed and shouts of fear and terror were heard as humans fought inhuman monsters.

And the third crack finally broke the world-moon, or in this instance the wheel of time. This symbolizes the final sword…the rest of the moon (Nissa Nissa) was destroyed in a great cataclysmic event that nearly wiped out all human life. Some readers suspect actual moon meteors, but other suspect a super-giant volcanic eruption.

This is is the event that broke the wheel, the ouroboros began eating itself inside out, and time began rolling in reverse.

Daenerys is three things: 

1) daughter of dragons - this one seems pretty straightforward if she's Aerys and Rhaella's.

2) bride of dragons - not as clear, other than she was supposed to marry her brother, Viserys.

3) mother of dragons - this one is straightforward as well.

It was @LynnS that pointed out that Daenerys was the origin and the mother of dragons. She is at the beginning of the new inverted cycle of the wheel now turning in reverse. It was the funeral pyre that “broke the world” and is similar to the phrase "break the wheel" which, along with having a dragon reborn, is the main theme in the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan. 

The New Cycle

1) Origin - Drogo’s funeral pyre

2) Rebirth - magic, dragons, direwolves

3) The Reversal of the Invasions

Iron Islands takes place of Dragonstone. Euron and Victarion are symbolically a united Bloodraven and Bittersteel on the verge of a successful "Blackfyre" type rebellion due to securing dragons, expect invasion from the west. 

Arianne Martell brought a Dornish marriage proposal to young Griff, who came to Westeros from the Rhoyne river symbolically representing the Rhoynar.

Faith Militant/Faith of the Seven turns on Andals and creates Papacy rule.

Lord Commander & Night’s King takes down Lord of Winterfell with King Beyond the Wall’s help.

Showdown at either Harrenhal or Gods Eye between Blackfyre dragons and First Men.

Second Long Night while the Wall expells magic

Night’s King may become the new King in the North, and this time he does not kneel to the dragonlord, and “Brandon” kills the dragons this time with weirwood arrows, however the King may end up dead. 

4) Second hammer of waters as the snow and ice melts

5) End of magic - Children of the Forest extinguished

6) Queen in the North rebuilds Winterfell 

Conclusion

The wheel of time or ouroboros is a construct or literary device that GRRM is using to tell his story, and may never be directly referred to, but the evidence is there. The titled chapters are a treasure trove of symbolism, parallels, and inversions. Deciphering them is a labored process. The reversal of the invasions is the strongest piece of evidence that I can point at to start you on your way to rereading the titled inversion chapters. You can always read one of my chapter analysis’, but I encourage you to work through them yourself, looking for historical parallels between characters and events, and then sort through the inversions.

There is no good way to summarize this essay, but long story short Westeros operates on an ouroboros, aka a wheel of time that started turning in reverse after a series of three blood magic rituals along with the removal of the warding on the Wall, namely there is no Stark in Winterfell, which made it possible for Drogo’s funeral pyre to work as a magic spell, causing Daenerys to become the dragon reborn, and break the wheel. The world will be rebuilt through a series of inversions, and return to an origin point where the Children, this time, give way to humans.

 

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Well. I can see I've been met with some skepticism and confusion. :D

Maybe a few examples will help with understanding? An inversion has to be a parallel first with an opposite outcome. For example:

Victarion invaded the Shield Islands which protect the Mander river on the west side of Westeros.

Bittersteel invaded Massey's Hook which protects the Blackwater rush on the east side of Westeros.

Victarion was victorious while Bittersteel lost and retreated back across the Narrow Sea.

Victarion has a brother Euron known as Crow's Eye, while Bittersteel has a brother named Bloodraven known as the Three Eyed Crow.

Euron has dark hair and a black eye full of malice, while Bloodraven is an albino with a red eye. Both wear an eye patch.

Ser Talbert of House Serry of Southshield wounds Victarion’s left hand.

Aegor (Bittersteel) Rivers swore a blood oath with Lord Reaper of Pyke Torwyn Greyjoy. Traditionally a blood oath involves the participants to shed their own blood and offer it to each other swearing to uphold some task, no matter what. Oft times the people involved would cut their hands and then shake in agreement.

Victarion thinks to himself: let three men assail him, or four, or five, it made no matter. The last man to face him must have been a smith.

There were five Blackfyre Pretenders. Their names are so similar: Daemon, Daemon II, Haegon, Daemon III, and Maelys. All but Daemon II had one thing in common: Aegor “Bittersteel” Rivers who plotted and supported three Blackfyre Rebellions, and left his legacy for the fifth to carry out. The last man to face Victarion was a smith, and I think this is a reference to Robert Baratheon rising up and taking the realm by conquest.

 Victarion thinks to himself about Euron: “This was my victory, not his. Where was he? …He stole my wife and he stole my throne, and now he steals my glory.” 

Bloodraven “stole” Shiera from Bittersteel, while Bittersteel kept trying to steal the iron throne. 

Euron gave Victarion a dusky woman that he kept in his cabin on the Iron Victory. After battle he went to her and took her twice in quick succession. Afterward she had blood smeared across her breasts, thighs and belly, but it was his blood from the gash Serry gave him. The dusky woman washed his wound with boiled vinegar.

“Dusky” is a euphemistic or poetic reference to black or somewhat dark-skinned people, but the blood smeared over her body mirrors Shiera Seastar, as there were rumors that she bathed in the blood of maidens to retain her beauty. The washing of the wound with vinegar symbolizes the sting Bittersteel felt when Shiera chose Bloodraven.

Euron has cut out the Dusky Woman's tongue. 

Duskendale was formerly ruled by the Darklyns. The Darklyns are now extinct due to the Defiance of Duskendale which took place during the reign of King Aerys II when, Lord Denys Darklyn was convinced by his wife, Lady Serala of Myr, to take King Aerys II captive. 

When he lost his hostage, Lord Denys had no choice but to surrender. The king demanded his head and those of all his family. Lady Serala, called the Lace Serpent for the poison of her words, was burned alive after her tongue and female parts were torn out which were blamed for enslaving her lord husband.

 

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5 hours ago, Feather Crystal said:

Well. I can see I've been met with some skepticism and confusion. :D

Maybe a few examples will help with understanding? An inversion has to be a parallel first with an opposite outcome.

Hi Feather!

Congrats on finally putting the ideas together.

The way I understand the inversion concept is as an echo with a twist.  You know I've always been intrigued by this theory, although my relatively scanty knowledge of the lore prohibits me from making many useful contributions!  I wouldn't be surprised if this kind of mirror 'geometry' appeals to GRRM on a structural in addition to symbolic level; e.g. he's very taken by his right-left (dexter-sinister) switches (I've written before on how he plays with this concept in the context of Jaime's arc...losing his right hand ironically makes him less sinister and being left-handed puts him on the right path, etc.)

I will be back after I've read properly...

:)

P.S.  Thanks for the mention!

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Hi Feather!  Did you get to the Kingbreaker chapter?  I wonder if there is a parallel/inversion here:

Is there an inversion between the story of Jenny of Oldstones and Duncan the Dragonprince with Lyanna and Robert Baratheon?
 

Quote

The World of Ice and Fire - The Stormlands: House Baratheon
Lord Boremund was stone, hard and strong and unmoving. Lord Borros was the wind, which rages and howls and blows this way and that.
The love between Jenny of Oldstones ("with flowers in her hair") and Duncan, Prince of Dragonflies, is beloved of singers, storytellers, and young maids even to this day, but it caused great grief to Lord Lyonel's daughter and brought shame and dishonor to House Baratheon. So great was the wroth of the Laughing Storm that he swore a bloody oath of vengeance, renounced allegiance to the Iron Throne, and had himself crowned as a new Storm King. Peace was restored only after the Kingsguard knight Ser Duncan the Tall faced Lord Lyonel in a trial by battle, Prince Duncan renounced his claim to crown and throne, and King Aegon V agreed that his youngest daughter, the Princess Rhaelle, would wed Lord Lyonel's heir.

 

Is this what Rhaegar was getting at with the crown of roses; the event that shamed the Starks; calling up the past aggression between Targaryen and Baratheon this time in reverse? Is it Robert who weds for love (Lyanna) against the wishes of his father (Jon Arryn)?  Robert could care less about the crown, all he really wanted was the girl?

Sansa is haunted by the song of Jenny of Oldstones?

Quote

A Feast for Crows - Sansa I
But that was when she was a little girl, and foolish. She was a maiden now, three-and-ten and flowered. All her nights were full of song, and by day she prayed for silence.
If the Eyrie had been made like other castles, only rats and gaolers would have heard the dead man singing. Dungeon walls were thick enough to swallow songs and screams alike. But the sky cells had a wall of empty air, so every chord the dead man played flew free to echo off the stony shoulders of the Giant's Lance. And the songs he chose . . . He sang of the Dance of the Dragons, of fair Jonquil and her fool, of Jenny of Oldstones and the Prince of Dragonflies. He sang of betrayals, and murders most foul, of hanged men and bloody vengeance. He sang of grief and sadness.
No matter where she went in the castle, Sansa could not escape the music. It floated up the winding tower steps, found her naked in her bath, supped with her at dusk, and stole into her bedchamber even when she latched the shutters tight. It came in on the cold thin air, and like the air, it chilled her. Though it had not snowed upon the Eyrie since the day that Lady Lysa fell, the nights had all been bitter cold.

 

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Some additional thoughts on the above ...

 

Why does the story of Jenny of Oldstones keep up coming in major POV's.  A seemingly innocuous story although it is not the romantic Disney fairy tale people think it is.  It's a story and a song about shame, grief and bloodshed.

We have the Ghost of High Heart who always wants to hear the song of Jenny.  it's the GoHH who makes a prophecy about the Prince who is Promised;
 

Quote

 

When Jenny of Oldstones came to court after marrying Prince Duncan Targaryen, she was accompanied by her friend, a dwarfish, albino woman who was reputed to be a woods witch in the riverlands. Lady Jenny claimed that she was a child of the forest, although this was not true.

After hearing the woods witch's prophecy that the prince that was promised would come from the line of Aerys and Rhaella Targaryen, their father Prince Jaehaerys insisted that they marry.

 

 

So according to Rhaegar in Dany's vision; the PwiP already has a song.  And another reversal with Dany as the Princess who is Promised.   The song is in part Jenny's song and the resulting marriage alliance.  Really this is one half of the song, the song of fire.  The song of ice is encapsulated in the alliance between Stark and Baratheon; a reversal of the Jenny of Oldstones story with Robert as the intended king who doesn't want the crown; he just wants the girls he loves.  And we have the same shame, guilt this time associated with Lyanna and war,  bloodshed with a reversal of fortunes favoring the Baratheons.  This seems to be the ice half of the song.

There is even symbolic connection between the Knight of the Laughing Storm and the Knight of the Laughing Tree. 

If Arya and Sansa are depicting aspects of Lyanna's personality and the event surrounding her mystery; then she is both a bit of a romantic like Sansa sniffling at sad songs and bit impulsive like Arya.  It's the impulsive nature of the wolf blood that brought about her end according to Ned. 

We have Arya on the run and in danger after Ned's execution and we can suppose that Lyanna also ran after the execution of her father and brother. 

It's possible that the outlaw rebel Robert has his counterpart in the outlaw Queen, Wenda the White Fawn who joins the Kingswood Brotherhood for a time exacting vengeance on her enemies and then disappears.  She was young and attractive.  This could possibly be Lyanna/Arya on the run.  There are plenty of secret places to hide in the hollow hills.  Then she disappears and nobody knows what became of her.   The white fawn and the stag!  Not to mention Jon as the white wolf.

Oldstones itself is an interesting place:

The ruined stronghold sits on a hill above the Blue Fork of the Trident. Nothing but its foundations remain and a sepulcher of the ancient River King Tristifer IV Mudd.[1] The curtain wall of Oldstones once encircled the brow of the hill upon which it sits, like the crown on a king’s head. However only the foundation now remain and a few waist-high piles of crumbling stone spotted with lichen.[2]

Its foundations remain amongst the weeds to show where the walls and keeps had once stood, but the local smallfolk had long ago made off with most of the stones to raise their barns and septs and holdfasts. The only remnants of the keep are mossy hummocks, behind which is the godswood.[2]

Where the gatehouse once stood the ruins are more extensive and a rider must dismount to lead their horse through them. Once inside the vanished walls the weeds are chest high.

Beneath the castle ruins, the lower slopes of the hill are thickly forested. There are gorse, bracken, thistle, sedge and blackberry bushes between pines and grey-green sentinels. Elsewhere skeletal elm, ash and scrub oaks choke the ground like weeds.

The road up to Oldstones goes twice around the hill before reaching the summit.[2] It is overgrown, stony and is slow going even in the best of times.


The sepulcher

At the center of what once would have been the castle’s yard, a great carved sepulcher still rests, half-hidden in the waist high brown grass amongst a stand of ash trees. The sepulcher entombs Tristifer, the Fourth of His Name, King of the Rivers and the Hills.[1]

The lid of the sepulcher was carved into a likeness of the man whose bones lie beneath, but the rain and the wind has worn down the carving. The king had worn a beard, but otherwise his face is smooth and featureless with only the vague suggestions of a mouth, a nose, eyes and the crown about his temples.

The king’s hands are folded over the shaft of a stone warhammer that lies upon his chest. Once the warhammer would have been carved with the runes that told its name and history, but the runes have been worn away.[1] The stone itself is cracked and crumbling at the corners and discolored here and there by spreading white splotches of lichen, while wild roses creep up over the king’s feet almost to his chest.  - Westeros Wiki

We have this curious dream of Ned's that puts me in mind of the sepulcher covered in roses:

Quote

Ned Stark reached out his hand to grasp the flowery crown, but beneath the pale blue petals the thorns lay hidden. He felt them clawing at his skin, sharp and cruel, saw the slow trickle of blood run down his fingers, and woke, trembling, in the dark.

 

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On 12/2/2016 at 5:50 PM, ravenous reader said:

Hi Feather!

Congrats on finally putting the ideas together.

The way I understand the inversion concept is as an echo with a twist.  You know I've always been intrigued by this theory, although my relatively scanty knowledge of the lore prohibits me from making many useful contributions!  I wouldn't be surprised if this kind of mirror 'geometry' appeals to GRRM on a structural in addition to symbolic level; e.g. he's very taken by his right-left (dexter-sinister) switches (I've written before on how he plays with this concept in the context of Jaime's arc...losing his right hand ironically makes him less sinister and being left-handed puts him on the right path, etc.)

I will be back after I've read properly...

:)

P.S.  Thanks for the mention!

Looking forward to reading more from you, Ravenous Reader! Your grasp of the story and it's symbolism is impressive. I'm hoping you've noticed some echoes with twists that you can share here?

Since you've brought up Jaime I will supply some parallel inversions that I've noticed. I haven't seen one yet for the loss of his right hand, which surely is a deliberate detail on GRRM's part. 

 

Dark haired Arianne Martell is her father’s heir.

Blond haired Cersei thinks she should be her father’s heir since she was born first.

 

Arianne has a milk brother named Garin with whom she experimented sexually at an early age. They had been inseparable since before they learned to walk.

Cersei and her twin brother Jaime have been having a sexual relationship since an early age. They too dislike being separated from each other.

 

Garin was named after Garin the Great, the wonder of the Rhoyne.

Jaime has an infamous nickname as well, the Kingslayer.

 

Garin the Great was hung in a golden cage and mocked. Garin called upon the Mother Rhoyne to destroy the Valyrian invaders of Chroyane.

Jaime wore his golden armor when he slew King Aerys. Even though he was a sworn brother of the Kingsguard his first loyalty was to his Lannister family. Symbolically he was held by his golden cage as well.

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3 hours ago, LynnS said:

Hi Feather!  Did you get to the Kingbreaker chapter?  I wonder if there is a parallel/inversion here:

Is there an inversion between the story of Jenny of Oldstones and Duncan the Dragonprince with Lyanna and Robert Baratheon?
 

 

Is this what Rhaegar was getting at with the crown of roses; the event that shamed the Starks; calling up the past aggression between Targaryen and Baratheon this time in reverse? Is it Robert who weds for love (Lyanna) against the wishes of his father (Jon Arryn)?  Robert could care less about the crown, all he really wanted was the girl?

Sansa is haunted by the song of Jenny of Oldstones?

 

I have not tackled The Kingbreaker chapter yet, but I agree that you've found an inversion which is as Ravenous Reader called it, an echo with a twist.

Jenny of Oldstones stole the Prince from the Storm Lord's daughter.

The "official" story that Rhaegar stole Lyanna from the Storm Lord is the inversion.

There are other parallels to the above including the Moonmaid constellation that has a familiar story to people both north and south of the Wall: 

The Red Wanderer is one of the seven wanderers visible in the sky over the known world. Colored red, it is associated with the Smith god by the Faith of the Seven. It therefore seems to be an analog to Mars. Among the Free Folk, the red wanderer is known as the Thief. Supposedly when it is visible within the constellation of the Moonmaid, it is a good time for a man to steal a woman

The parallel to the Red Wanderer stealing the Moonmaid is the story about Storm’s End, seat of House Baratheon. It was built by Durran Godsgrief the first Storm King during the Dawn Age, who declared war against the gods after they killed his family and guests, ruining his wedding to Elenei, who is said to have been daughter to the god of the sea and the goddess of the wind. Elenei gave her maidenhead to Durran thus committing herself to a mortal life. In effect this Storm Lord "stole" a maiden, the daughter of two gods. The castle had to be warded with spells to withstand the anger of gods.

My theory about the wheel of time is based upon a recycling of history. The Moonmaid constellation, the lore of Storm's End, the inverted story of Jenny of Oldstones stealing the Prince from the Storm Lord's daughter, and the story of Rhaegar stealing Lyanna from the Storm Lord are all repeats of when the Children forged their third sword and broke/stole the moonmaid Nissa Nissa.

 

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1 hour ago, LynnS said:

At the center of what once would have been the castle’s yard, a great carved sepulcher still rests, half-hidden in the waist high brown grass amongst a stand of ash trees. The sepulcher entombs Tristifer, the Fourth of His Name, King of the Rivers and the Hills.[1]

The lid of the sepulcher was carved into a likeness of the man whose bones lie beneath, but the rain and the wind has worn down the carving. The king had worn a beard, but otherwise his face is smooth and featureless with only the vague suggestions of a mouth, a nose, eyes and the crown about his temples.

The king’s hands are folded over the shaft of a stone warhammer that lies upon his chest. Once the warhammer would have been carved with the runes that told its name and history, but the runes have been worn away.[1] The stone itself is cracked and crumbling at the corners and discolored here and there by spreading white splotches of lichen, while wild roses creep up over the king’s feet almost to his chest. 

 

There is a parallel to Tristifer's statue at the ruins of Shandytown. This was the meeting place for Arianne and her friends after they "abducted" Myrcella. Near the well are fallen columns and statues including one that may have been of the Maiden of the Seven. The statue had fallen over and the face was scoured away by the sands.

 

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Some of my favorite examples relating to the topic are in the Cat of the Canals chapter.

Arya finds out that 14 year old Brea has been sneaking up to the rooftops to meet her lover.

Quote

Cat knew that they were talking about Brea's boy, the one she climbed up on the roof to meet, after her father was asleep.

Direct parallel to the Stark maiden who snuck to the crypts with her lover Bael while her father slept.  There are several other examples where structures are literal inversions like wells and towers.  Rooftops and crypts, fairly blatant.  Further, there's a clue here with the name Brea, anagram for bear.  The Bear's (Joer's) boy (Jorah) was involved in secretly meeting someone?  Quite possibly.

There is a Jorah parallel in this chapter when you remember he was accused of selling slaves/human trafficking.  Brusco choosing his wares seems eerily like a slave market or auction.

This also might parallel 14 year old Lyanna, of course, secretly meeting a lover - in a tower.

And we get further evidence that this Chapter is partially about Mance/Abel (Bael) to take it a step further, because the chapter is about Arya pretending to be someone else.  The cloak and boots are part of her transformation.  The cloak is all about Mance, and Melisandre mentions "a dead man's boots" as a way to create a glamour.

Quote

The rest of the time she was an orphan girl in a pair of battered boots too big for her feet and a brown cloak with a ragged hem.

ALl roof rats are thieves, and all crows are liars?

Quote

"What do you know that you did not know when you left us?" the kindly man would ask as soon as he saw her. I know that Brusco's daughter Brea meets a boy on the roof when her father is asleep, she thought. Brea lets him touch her, Talea says, even though he's just a roof rat and all the roof rats are supposed to be thieves.

Mance, in his cloak and boots, is attacked by a shadow cat.

Daeron, in his cloak and boots, is killed by Arya/Cat.

There's a ton more in this chapter alone but the most interesting parallel/inversion/wheel/echo is Arya/Cat.  Specifically, Rhaenys' cat Balerion.

Quote

A dirty orange cat came padding after her, drawn by the sound of her call. Farther on, a second cat appeared, a sad, bedraggled grey thing with a stub tail. Cats liked the smell of Cat. Some days she would have a dozen trailing after her before the sun went down. From time to time the girl would throw an oyster at them and watch to see who came away with it. The biggest toms would seldom win, she noticed; oft as not, the prize went to some smaller, quicker animal, thin and mean and hungry. Like me, she told herself. Her favorite was a scrawny old tom with a chewed ear who reminded her of a cat that she'd once chased all around the Red Keep. No, that was some other girl, not me.

Here, Arya is a parallel of Rhaenys.  

So much more I need to get in order, but yeah.  It's all right there.

Just to mess with your head, some of the other characters in the chapter have typical GRRM "word salad" names, like Gere (Gerold), Lanna (Lyanna), which are designed IMO to be evocative if not outright parallels.

Red Roggo (Drogo) teaches Arya how to hide a knife up her sleeve.   But this also parallels the red mouse Ser Shadrich (more to come in TWoW).  And Arya has a ton of mouse imagery that I need to come back to.

But back to name salad,..

Arya/Cat saves Samwell from Terro and Orbelo in the previous chapter. Why is this bizarro? Because if we place "Cat" in the Red Keep during the Sack, then it's quite possible Aegon was saved from Gregor and Amory.

To further mess with your head, Lynesse's  pimp is Tregar Ormollen.

Terro/Tregar/Gregor and Orbelo/Ormollon/Amory.  To me, the evolution of each name is clear.

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, WeaselPie said:

Some of my favorite examples relating to the topic are in the Cat of the Canals chapter.

Arya finds out that 14 year old Brea has been sneaking up to the rooftops to meet her lover.

Direct parallel to the Stark maiden who snuck to the crypts with her lover Bael while her father slept.  There are several other examples where structures are literal inversions like wells and towers.  Rooftops and crypts, fairly blatant.  Further, there's a clue here with the name Brea, anagram for bear.  The Bear's (Joer's) boy (Jorah) was involved in secretly meeting someone?  Quite possibly.

There is a Jorah parallel in this chapter when you remember he was accused of selling slaves/human trafficking.  Brusco choosing his wares seems eerily like a slave market or auction.

This also might parallel 14 year old Lyanna, of course, secretly meeting a lover - in a tower.

And we get further evidence that this Chapter is partially about Mance/Abel (Bael) to take it a step further, because the chapter is about Arya pretending to be someone else.  The cloak and boots are part of her transformation.  The cloak is all about Mance, and Melisandre mentions "a dead man's boots" as a way to create a glamour.

ALl roof rats are thieves, and all crows are liars?

Mance, in his cloak and boots, is attacked by a shadow cat.

Daeron, in his cloak and boots, is killed by Arya/Cat.

There's a ton more in this chapter alone but the most interesting parallel/inversion/wheel/echo is Arya/Cat.  Specifically, Rhaenys' cat Balerion.

Here, Arya is a parallel of Rhaenys.  

So much more I need to get in order, but yeah.  It's all right there.

Just to mess with your head, some of the other characters in the chapter have typical GRRM "word salad" names, like Gere (Gerold), Lanna (Lyanna), which are designed IMO to be evocative if not outright parallels.

Red Roggo (Drogo) teaches Arya how to hide a knife up her sleeve.   But this also parallels the red mouse Ser Shadrich (more to come in TWoW).  And Arya has a ton of mouse imagery that I need to come back to.

But back to name salad,..

Arya/Cat saves Samwell from Terro and Orbelo in the previous chapter. Why is this bizarro? Because if we place "Cat" in the Red Keep during the Sack, then it's quite possible Aegon was saved from Gregor and Amory.

To further mess with your head, Lynesse's  pimp is Tregar Ormollen.

Terro/Tregar/Gregor and Orbelo/Ormollon/Amory.  To me, the evolution of each name is clear.

 

 

 

There's also Tormund, the wilding that claims he's a husband to bears. One of the Mormont women?

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13 minutes ago, Feather Crystal said:

There's also Tormund, the wilding that claims he's a husband to bears. One of the Mormont women?

Tormond/Mormont - nice one.  We don't have any idea who Maege's husband/baby daddy is, do we?

I always thought it was odd we didn't know the fate of whoever that man was.  It's such a small house,and so central to the story.

So yes this is another great example of GRRM's word or name salad, which I think is one of the clues for the Wheel/Inversions/Parallels etc.

 

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1 hour ago, WeaselPie said:

Tormond/Mormont - nice one.  We don't have any idea who Maege's husband/baby daddy is, do we?

I always thought it was odd we didn't know the fate of whoever that man was.  It's such a small house,and so central to the story.

So yes this is another great example of GRRM's word or name salad, which I think is one of the clues for the Wheel/Inversions/Parallels etc.

 

Another on to go with name salad might be Joer/Jorah/Joramund.  There is also a King Jorah Stark and Jono Stark in the crypts of Winterfell. So I've wondered if the Mormonts might actually be descended from Joramun. This might explain why they were gifted Bear Island by Rodrik Stark.  So perhaps the are wildling and Stark descendents?

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There's certainly something odd about the Mormonts.

The sister of Jeor Mormont is named Maege Mormont. She has a number of daughters who are also named Mormont. They are conspicuously not named Snow yet there is no hint of a husband/Father.

So what's the deal?

Is there a deal being worked whereby someone marrying one of the daughters will inherit all if he takes on his wife's name and thus keeps the House going? [relatively common in our world]

Are the Mormonts Mormonts whether legitimate or otherwise and damn the torpedoes?

Was Maege Mormont married and if so to who?

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I have to say that I'm unconvinced by the inversions. I can see the parallels being drawn, but that GRRM may be constantly shuffling the same deck of cards and recycling names and scenarios to produce his second unit scripts doesn't necessarily mean that there's any significance beyond economy of imagimation.

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16 minutes ago, Black Crow said:

There's certainly something odd about the Mormonts.

The sister of Jeor Mormont is named Maege Mormont. She has a number of daughters who are also named Mormont. They are conspicuously not named Snow yet there is no hint of a husband/Father.

So what's the deal?

Is there a deal being worked whereby someone marrying one of the daughters will inherit all if he takes on his wife's name and thus keeps the House going? [relatively common in our world]

Are the Mormonts Mormonts whether legitimate or otherwise and damn the torpedoes?

Was Maege Mormont married and if so to who?

I've had the general impression that Mormont joined the Watch because Jorah shamed House Mormont.  But that's not the case.  Mormont went to the Wall before that happened.  He's a rare case of someone making a choice to take the black.  I suppose he reached a point in his life where he was ready to pass the cup to Jorah and went to the Watch for duty and honor? Because he was needed?  He had other reasons for joining. 

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9 minutes ago, LynnS said:

I've had the general impression that Mormont joined the Watch because Jorah shamed House Mormont.  But that's not the case.  Mormont went to the Wall before that happened.  He's a rare case of someone making a choice to take the black.  I suppose he reached a point in his life where he was ready to pass the cup to Jorah and went to the Watch for duty and honor? Because he was needed?  He had other reasons for joining. 

Yeah, I had the same impression. Jorah went off and married his high-born piece, then persuaded his old man to take a walk so's he could become Lord of Bear Island and try to keep Lynesse Hightower in the style she demanded. I think that side is straightforward enough. Its the Mormont women and who Maege was consorting with that raises the questions.

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1 hour ago, Black Crow said:

I have to say that I'm unconvinced by the inversions. I can see the parallels being drawn, but that GRRM may be constantly shuffling the same deck of cards and recycling names and scenarios to produce his second unit scripts doesn't necessarily mean that there's any significance beyond economy of imagimation.

While I do suspect that he may never reveal an actual wheel of time at play, he is definitely using it as a way to construct his story. A lot of it is symbolic but easily worked out if you take the time to meditate on the meanings.

Doran's parallel inversion is Tywin Lannister. Examining the symbolism of the gout, oranges, and water gardens that are connected to Doran I came up with these parallel inversions:

The Captain of Guards - AFFC chapter 2

Gout - Symbolizes the need to dominate. Impatience. Anger.

Tywin is an intelligent, but vengeful man. He controls his emotions keeping his anger inside to plot and to plan, and when everything is in place he destroys his enemies without quarter. Doran's gout is meant to reflect Tywin's personality as a physical ailment.

Overripe oranges - Waited too long to harvest. Strongly negative or positive. Can also represent betrayal and distrust.

Tywin is a brilliant military strategist. Doran tries to be a strategist too, but where Tywin's plans execute in his favor, Doran has waited too long. He too has plotted with quills and ravens, but his "over ripe" plans have rotted. Arianne was supposed to wed Viserys and Quentyn arrived after Dany already planned to marry Hizdahr. 

Tywin's plans on the other hand are the stuff of legends. Rather than starve out Tarbeck Hall, Tywin used siege engines to destroy it’s keep, bursting it open, and it collapsed on Lady Ellyn Tarbeck and her son, Tion the Red. Then he ordered the castle put to the torch (blood-orange flames).


Water Gardens - Equates life, refreshment, growth, but as we’ve seen with the Ironborn and the symbolic northern sea it can also mean death.

Named after a nearby pool of water, Castamere began as a mine like Casterley Rock. Nine-tenths of the castle was subterranean. Tywin had the entrances buried beneath stone, and then dammed the pool’s stream and diverted it into a mine entrance, flooding the underground chambers.

Doran watches and listens to the children playing in the water, an echo of the Reynes that Tywin drowned. Tywin stayed for three days watching and waiting until he was sure everyone was dead. Doran watches the children play from sunup to sundown. It's the only thing that seems to give him comfort from his gouty limbs.
 

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1 hour ago, Black Crow said:

Yeah, I had the same impression. Jorah went off and married his high-born piece, then persuaded his old man to take a walk so's he could become Lord of Bear Island and try to keep Lynesse Hightower in the style she demanded. I think that side is straightforward enough. Its the Mormont women and who Maege was consorting with that raises the questions.

Backwards, actually.   Jeor joined the Watch sometime near/during Robert's Rebellion - Jorah may have still been married to his unknown Glover wife at the time, but she may have died by then...not really sure on the timeline there.   Jorah didn't meet his trophy wife until after the Greyjoy Rebellion - about the same time that Jeor became Lord Commander.

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8 hours ago, PrettyPig said:

Backwards, actually.   Jeor joined the Watch sometime near/during Robert's Rebellion - Jorah may have still been married to his unknown Glover wife at the time, but she may have died by then...not really sure on the timeline there.   Jorah didn't meet his trophy wife until after the Greyjoy Rebellion - about the same time that Jeor became Lord Commander.

I sit here corrected but whether it was a Glover wife or a Hightower I think the scenario may have been the same,

I stress the may because it occurs to me that the answer to both questions may actually lie in the Mormont women. Is Bear Island another Craster's keep. Are the women really in charge with the men being turned off as soon as they've outlived their usefullness?

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