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Lost Melnibonean

Wow, I never noticed that v.15

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22 minutes ago, Walda said:

Releasing the ravens is an old Viking trick to find land. Of course, it relied on never being so far from land that the raven couldn't see the shore. Ravens can fly for days across an open sea. They are not built like albatross, who can fly a quarter of the way round the world non-stop, and it would be a doomed and desperate raven that flew even one day in any direction when they couldn't see land, but they are strong birds with a large wingspan, and with favourable winds and with ground effect (which still works on the sea, and if it is a calm sea, more effectively than undulating land) and thermals, it is not implausible.

If you look at the birds of New Zealand, while a large number are endemic, and a large number are introduced by humans (eg. chaffinches, starlings, blackbirds), and of course a number of migratory birds, there are some few that seem to have flown/been blown across from the east coast of Australia that would not normally migrate over sea. One of these, the Australasian magpie, is of comparable shape and size to a raven. It would take such a bird more than a week to get to New Zealand, even with the most favourable winds.

Come to think of it, Noah let a raven out after the 40 days of flood, and it did not return (whatever that means). Then he switched to doves. The first dove did exactly the same as the raven, but he stuck to doves, and the second dove came back. I'm guessing the other two birds were behaving normally and giving him a clue about how to navigate. That the reason for the raven was because it was a bigger bird, bigger wing span, could fly further than a dove over water. That he was waiting til he was hopefully closer to land before releasing the dove. That the second dove was behaving abnormally/miraculously by returning with a stick in its mouth, like a dog.

Anyway, the Viking longboats were very rarely more than a day or two from sight of land - like the Polynesian and Maori Waka, long boats were used mostly for fishing and trading, for a bit of island hopping and a lot of coastal and estuarine navigation. The great migrations and voyages of exploration were legendary because they were almost as miraculous as a bird flying back to the ship with a symbol of land-based prosperity in its mouth.

I could buy a day or two. 

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When Jon allows Tormund's band to pass the Wall, one man surrenders a shirt of silver scales, which made me think of the armor Bilbo gave to Frodo. The next item surrendered is a broken sword with three sapphires in its hilt, so I looked up descriptions of Narsil, but I didn't see any sapphires. On the other hand, I did see old threads positing that the sword was the sword wielded by Waymar in the Prologue to Game. That sword had three jewels in its hilt. 

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6 hours ago, Lost Melnibonean said:

old threads positing that the sword was the sword wielded by Waymar in the Prologue to Game.

Wow, that is a nice catch. Please let me know the thread.

The weapon that caught my attention in the Prologue was the dead wildling's axe

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Heavy-looking, double-bladed, a cruel piece of iron...A huge double-bladed battle-axe...

(Prologue, Game of Thrones)

After Edd Tollet had pointed out

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Mormont’s weapon, a short-hafted battle-axe with gold scrollwork inlaid on the black steel blade.

(A Clash of Kings, Ch.23 Jon III)

and the inconsistency of policy when the Lord Commander of the Night's Watch gives it to Craster, it became increasingly clear to me that wildlings do not forge iron weapons, and heavy double-bladed battle axes are a Seven Kingdoms weapon, one the wildling must have traded or obtained from some non-wildling contact. And since I read Dance the first time, I've had this nagging feeling that the Wildling axe appeared again. I was reading fast, and several chapters past the point where it re-appeared (if it did reappear) when I realised it. I decided to leave finding it for a re-read. I haven't done a full re-read of Dance yet, but I've re-read the Jon chapters and Bran chapters and pretty much every north of the Wall chapter, and have not found any sign of the Iron Wildling axe, but did find heaps of allusions to Wildling weaponry that make certain we know that that axe was no Wildling axe.

It isn't just the axe and the sword that might have reappeared, either. It's not so clear, but in in ADwD Ch.13 Bran II, I think Bran, if he had not been fixated on looking up to the cave of the three eyed crow, and if the  snow had not been so thick, might have seen enough to identify it as the place where Will had found the Wildlings. And the wight whose hand was severed by Summer, might have been Will himself.

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On Invalid Date at 7:47 PM, Walda said:

Wow, that is a nice catch. Please let me know the thread.

. . . since I read Dance the first time, I've had this nagging feeling that the Wildling axe appeared again.

This might answer some of your questions:

There is additional speculation about broken swords in this thread:

 

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My latest pet symbolism discovery is that Sandor Clegane embodies the night, which is closely associated with shadows, including the shadow that killed Renly.

It occurs to me that the sigil of House Clegane is three dogs, and that GRRM might be having a little fun with the idiom, "three dog night," meaning a night that is so cold that a person would want three dogs in bed with them help stay warm. (Hey, let's start a discussion of Sansa finding the Hound in her bed on the night of the Blackwater!) (<-- a jape)

The other thing that crosses my mind is that there might be a third Clegane out there, in some way, shape or form. A natural child of either brother? Someone we have seen but who has a hidden identity?

I suspect GRRM might be planning a twist for us, with both Sandor and Gregor. I think it's possible that Sandor didn't really kill Mycah, but he claimed to do so for some reason. And I think that Gregor might not have raped and killed Elia, although he claimed to do so.

On the other hand, I think it's possible that Mycah symbolizes Gregor, and that Sandor really did kill him. This would then foreshadow Ser Robert Strong dying by the Hound's sword.

 

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Apologies if this has been mentioned already, but in ACOK it's said that Edric Storm is only about eight or nine, and then in the appendix for ASOS he's said to be twelve. I'm beginning to become very curious as to what GRRM has planned for this kid.

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Hmm...

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That was the moment Justin Massey chose to appear. "The king has other plans for his prize captive," he said, with his easy smile. His cheeks were red from the cold.

"The king? Or you?" Suggs snorted his contempt. "Scheme all you like, Massey. She'll still be for the fire, her and her king's blood. There's power in king's blood, the red woman used to say. Power to please our lord."

"Let R'hllor be content with the four we just sent him."

"Four baseborn churls. A beggar's offering. Scum like that will never stop the snow. She might."

The She-Bear spoke. "And if you burn her and the snows still fall, what then? Who will you burn next? Me?"

Asha could hold her tongue no longer. "Why not Ser Clayton?

Perhaps R'hllor would like one of his own. A faithful man who will sing his praises as the flames lick at his cock."

Ser Justin laughed. Suggs was less amused. "Enjoy your giggle, Massey. If the snow keeps falling, we will see who is laughing then." He glanced at the dead men on their stakes, smiled, and went off to join Ser Godry and the other queen's men.

"My champion," Asha said to Justin Massey. He deserved that much, whatever his motives. "Thank you for the rescue, ser."

"It will not win you friends amongst the queen's men," said the She-Bear. "Have you lost your faith in red R'hllor?"

"I have lost faith in more than that," Massey said, his breath a pale mist in the air, "but I still believe in supper. Will you join me, my ladies?"

The Sacrifice, Dance 62

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5 hours ago, The Bard of Banefort said:

I'm sorry, but I'm drawing a blank here. What does this passage reveal? 

From the Mystery Knight...

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How many eyes does Lord Bloodraven have? the riddle ran. A thousand eyes, and one. Some claimed the King's Hand was a student of the dark arts who could change his face, put on the likeness of a one-eyed dog, even turn into a mist. Packs of gaunt gray wolves hunted down his foes, men said, and carrion crows spied for him and whispered secrets in his ear. Most of the tales were only tales, Dunk did not doubt, but no one could doubt that Bloodraven had informers everywhere.

Whenever I see one-eyed dogs, mists, especially pale mists, gaunt grey wolves, and carrion crows, I wonder whether the author is alluding to Bloodraven, and if so, why? 

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3 hours ago, Lost Melnibonean said:

From the Mystery Knight...

Whenever I see one-eyed dogs, mists, especially pale mists, gaunt grey wolves, and carrion crows, I wonder whether the author is alluding to Bloodraven, and if so, why? 

Ah, okay, that's really interesting. Thanks for clearing it up for me. 

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Petyr had been a small boy, and he had grown into a small man, an inch or two shorter than Catelyn, slender and quick, with the sharp features she remembered and the same laughing grey-green eyes. He had a little pointed chin beard now, and threads of silver in his dark hair, though he was still shy of thirty. (AGoT, Catelyn IV)

The head had been rejoined to the body with fine silver wire, but one skull looks much like another, and in those empty hollows she found no trace of her lord's dark grey eyes, eyes that could be soft as a fog or hard as stone. (ACoK, Catelyn V)

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If Mors Umber believed that Jeyne Poole was Arya, his men would not have "dumped" her "rudely in the snow," when they presented her and Theon to Asha. 

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2 hours ago, Seams said:

Petyr had been a small boy, and he had grown into a small man, an inch or two shorter than Catelyn, slender and quick, with the sharp features she remembered and the same laughing grey-green eyes. He had a little pointed chin beard now, and threads of silver in his dark hair, though he was still shy of thirty. (AGoT, Catelyn IV)

The head had been rejoined to the body with fine silver wire, but one skull looks much like another, and in those empty hollows she found no trace of her lord's dark grey eyes, eyes that could be soft as a fog or hard as stone. (ACoK, Catelyn V)

That's a good catch!  Could the 'fine silver wire' at the place where Ned's head had been removed from his body implicate Littlefinger in Ned's beheading?  Ironically, the silver joins the head to the body, but could actually be a clue as to who was ultimately responsible for its severance.  Supporting this idea, there's also the 'silver thread' or 'silver web' that Sansa is given to wear in her hair (mirroring the silver threads in Littlefinger's hair) to Joffrey's wedding, which on the surface functions to keep her hair in check, but is also a murder weapon unleashed to figuratively 'take Joffrey's head' (strangulation being related to beheading).  

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A Clash of Kings - Sansa VIII

"You've waited so long, be patient awhile longer. Here, I have something for you." Ser Dontos fumbled in his pouch and drew out a silvery spiderweb, dangling it between his thick fingers.

It was a hair net of fine-spun silver, the strands so thin and delicate the net seemed to weigh no more than a breath of air when Sansa took it in her fingers. Small gems were set wherever two strands crossed, so dark they drank the moonlight. "What stones are these?"

"Black amethysts from Asshai. The rarest kind, a deep true purple by daylight."

 

A Storm of Swords - Sansa V

When she pulled it free, her long auburn hair cascaded down her back and across her shoulders. The web of spun silver hung from her fingers, the fine metal glimmering softly, the stones black in the moonlight. Black amethysts from Asshai. One of them was missing. Sansa lifted the net for a closer look. There was a dark smudge in the silver socket where the stone had fallen out.

A sudden terror filled her. Her heart hammered against her ribs, and for an instant she held her breath. Why am I so scared, it's only an amethyst, a black amethyst from Asshai, no more than that. It must have been loose in the setting, that's all. It was loose and it fell out, and now it's lying somewhere in the throne room, or in the yard, unless . .

Ser Dontos had said the hair net was magic, that it would take her home. He told her she must wear it tonight at Joffrey's wedding feast. The silver wire stretched tight across her knuckles. Her thumb rubbed back and forth against the hole where the stone had been. She tried to stop, but her fingers were not her own. Her thumb was drawn to the hole as the tongue is drawn to a missing tooth. What kind of magic? The king was dead, the cruel king who had been her gallant prince a thousand years ago. If Dontos had lied about the hair net, had he lied about the rest as well? What if he never comes? What if there is no ship, no boat on the river, no escape? What would happen to her then?

She heard a faint rustle of leaves, and stuffed the silver hair net down deep in the pocket of her cloak. "Who's there?" she cried. "Who is it?" The godswood was dim and dark, and the bells were ringing Joff into his grave.

 

A Storm of Swords - Sansa VI

"As you moved Ser Dontos to poison Joffrey?" It had to have been Dontos, she had concluded.

Littlefinger laughed. "Ser Dontos the Red was a skin of wine with legs. He could never have been trusted with a task of such enormity. He would have bungled it or betrayed me. No, all Dontos had to do was lead you from the castle . . . and make certain you wore your silver hair net."

The black amethysts. "But . . . if not Dontos, who? Do you have other . . . pieces?"

 

It's interesting how the silver net is associated with 'a breath of air' and becoming breathless.  The sudden mortal terror which seizes her is also similar to that which takes hold of her whenever she encounters or even thinks of Ser Ilyn the mute headsman.  Not only was Joffrey deprived of breath -- i.e. suffocated to death by the 'Strangler' -- the same net has also been used to snare another victim, Sansa.  Perhaps one can even view the silver threads or wire as having been used to figuratively hang her or garotte her (again, both related to beheading).  In this respect, it's curious her hands / fingers are described as 'not being her own,' hinting that she has been manipulated into action by another, much as a puppet whose hands are attached to strings can be made to dance by a puppetmaster:  

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A Clash of Kings - Sansa IV

"That was his duty. He never liked it."

"Is that what he told you?" Clegane laughed again. "Your father lied. Killing is the sweetest thing there is." He drew his longsword. "Here's your truth. Your precious father found that out on Baelor's steps. Lord of Winterfell, Hand of the King, Warden of the North, the mighty Eddard Stark, of a line eight thousand years old . . . but Ilyn Payne's blade went through his neck all the same, didn't it? Do you remember the dance he did when his head came off his shoulders?"

 

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A Clash of Kings - Tyrion II

Who truly killed Eddard Stark, do you think? Joffrey, who gave the command? Ser Ilyn Payne, who swung the sword? Or . . . another?"

Who truly killed Eddard Stark?  Who truly made him 'dance'...

 

Quote

A Game of Thrones - Eddard VIII

"Do you always find murder so amusing, Lord Baelish?"

"It's not murder I find amusing, Lord Stark, it's you. You rule like a man dancing on rotten ice. I daresay you will make a noble splash. I believe I heard the first crack this morning."

 

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I am rereading the Ugly Little Girl, and I am wondering what the Faceless Men do with the eyeballs...

ETA

Wow, I never noticed that Mercy is pretty, but she does not look like Arya...

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They brought a robe for her as well, the soft thick robe of an acolyte, black upon one side and white upon the other. "Wear this when you are here," the priest said, "but know that you shall have little need of it for the present. On the morrow you will go to Izembaro to begin your first apprenticeship. Take what clothes you will from the vaults below. The city watch is looking for a certain ugly girl, known to frequent the Purple Harbor, so best you have a new face as well." He cupped her chin, turned her head this way and that, nodded. "A pretty one this time, I think. As pretty as your own. Who are you, child?"

"No one," she replied.

The Little Ugly Girl, Dance 64

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On 6/14/2017 at 1:58 PM, Lost Melnibonean said:

When Jon allows Tormund's band to pass the Wall, one man surrenders a shirt of silver scales, which made me think of the armor Bilbo gave to Frodo. The next item surrendered is a broken surrenders word with three sapphires in its hilt, so I looked up descriptions of Narsil, but I didn't see any sapphires. On the other hand, I did see old threads positing that the sword was the sword wielded by Waymar in the Prologue to Game. That sword had three jewels in its hilt. 

My Tolkien knowledge isn't what it used to be but the description makes me think of Ringil the Sword of Fingolfin. Doesn't say three sapphires however but fits the rest of his motif I suppose.

I wonder if this could be part of "Sapphires" means lies or has that theory been disproven?

On 7/6/2017 at 1:47 PM, Lost Melnibonean said:

If Mors Umber believed that Jeyne Poole was Arya, his men would not have "dumped" her "rudely in the snow," when they presented her and Theon to Asha. 

This is a nice catch.

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On 6/14/2017 at 1:58 PM, Lost Melnibonean said:

When Jon allows Tormund's band to pass the Wall, one man surrenders a shirt of silver scales, which made me think of the armor Bilbo gave to Frodo.

Ser Barristan wears armor made with a pattern of scales. I would be interested if people in the forum can come up with other examples of armor with scales.

I'm interested that Renly, Barristan and Ser Ilyn are presented as three "strangers" in one of Sansa's first POVs. If they are supposed to be linked, scales might be a pun symbolizing justice, since Lady Justice carries scales to weigh the merits of each case. Ser Ilyn obviously represents the King's Justice and I'm wondering whether Ser Barristan's scales strengthen the link to Ser Ilyn.

Of course, Renly wears green enamel armor, so he's apparently not part of the scale symbolism.

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On 2017-04-29 at 8:52 PM, Seams said:

I know that GRRM doesn't necessarily offer a one-to-one connection when he uses the same symbols and details in two or more arcs - the message may be that the descent from the Eyrie is similar in some ways to the travel by Bran and his companions beyond the Wall. Bran is the POV in that case, so we have some insights into his transformation, but Meera, Jojen and Hodor might also feel changed by their ordeal. In this AFfC journey, Alayne/Sansa, Mya and even Myranda Royce might feel changed by their journey as well but the POV and her focus on Robert limit what the reader learns about Mya and Myranda.

The echoes between Robert and Bran are quite compelling.  You could also consider that SweetRobin has lived most of his life at Kingslanding before the Eyrie and his passage required him to first pass through the 'Bloody Gate' with it's own commander, the Knight of the Gate who asks "Who would pass the Bloody Gate?"  Which parallels Bran's passage through the Black Gate.  SweetRobin ascends through various gates and waycastles before reaching the Eyrie and the Wierwood Throne.  @ravenous reader has pointed out, Bran is compared to a rag doll in GoT, his body wasted away; while Sansa compares Sweetrobin thus:

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A Feast for Crows - Alayne I

"I do not! Let my porridge fly!" This time Robert flung the bowl, porridge and honey and all. Petyr Baelish ducked aside nimbly, but Maester Colemon was not so quick. The wooden bowl caught him square in the chest, and its contents exploded upward over his face and shoulders. He yelped in a most unmaesterlike fashion, while Alayne turned to soothe the little lordling, but too late. The fit was on him. A pitcher of milk went flying as his hand caught it, flailing. When he tried to rise he knocked his chair backwards and fell on top of it. One foot caught Alayne in the belly, so hard it knocked the wind from her. "Oh, gods be good," she heard Petyr say, disgusted.

 

 

Globs of porridge dotted Maester Colemon's face and hair as he knelt over his charge, murmuring soothing words. One gobbet crept slowly down his right cheek, like a lumpy grey-brown tear. It is not so bad a spell as the last one, Alayne thought, trying to be hopeful. By the time the shaking stopped, two guards in sky-blue cloaks and silvery mail shirts had come at Petyr's summons. "Take him back to bed and leech him," the Lord Protector said, and the taller guardsman scooped the boy up in his arms. I could carry him myself, Alayne thought. He is no heavier than a doll.

 

 

The question is whether or not Bran too will let his porridge fly in a fit of anger and if he will also return from his tall tower to pass back through the Black Gate.

The cure for such a fit is to take him back to bed and leech him.  Ominous, if Bran is also being leeched or sapped  when he lies in his wierwood bed.

 

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Two things I hadn't noticed in ASOS until recently:

1) That castle-cloud sky show on the morning of Joffrey's wedding. Somehow I completely missed that up until now.

2) Tyrion notices that there are six Kingsguard at his trial by combat, but doesn't realize that this means Jaime has returned. Arys is in Dorne, so in order for there to be six Kingsguard, either Jaime has returned to King's Landing, or he's dead Tyrion is too distracted to notice this. 

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