Jump to content

Salt and the Black Gate - Re-read Question


Recommended Posts

27 minutes ago, The Fattest Leech said:

salted slugs

:laugh: now I will try to go back to see what I said when I said it and what I said it about.

Yep, I was yapping in there.

I don't have a serious comment about the black gate at this time.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, Seams said:

Of course, there might be a pun on "salt" and "last" : The Last Hero?

This "seems" like a bit of a throwoff but man do I love it. I have not even thought to look for anagrams or jumbles! 3 day weekend coming up. As to your own post, I am glad for my own small contribution to your excellent work on the black gate

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My semi-serious simple boring answer is the combined body heat of Bran & Hodor as they pasted under the upper lip which brushed softly against the top of Bran’s head produced a drop of water. That drop of water then ran slowly down Bran’s nose picking up the salt off of Bran’s skin.(He hasn’t had a bath or washed his hair in a long time). Or the white weirwood Black Gate wept a tear.

Martin went to great detail to describe this well leading to the door. The well is deep and there is water down there but Bran never sees the water only darkness. He hears water, but is the water sound a dripping or a flowing like a river? I put the approximately one page of text in the reveal tab.

Sam says the words. The door opens. Bran & company pass. Then poof, the story picks up in DwD with Bran asking “Are we there yet” and Hodor having one eye frozen shut. That, for me was a huge let down. If I pass through the mouth of the magical white weirwood black gate am I magically spit out on the other side of the Wall? What if I change my mind and want go back? Where do I find this gate? It doesn’t matter because I am not a sworn brother of the NW.



"I'll go first, I know the way." Sam hesitated at the top. "There's just so many steps," he sighed, before he started down. Jojen followed, then Summer, then Hodor with Bran riding on his back. Meera took the rear, with her spear and net in hand.

It was a long way down. The top of the well was bathed in moonlight, but it grew smaller and dimmer every time they went around. Their footsteps echoed off the damp stones, and the water sounds grew louder. "Should we have brought torches?" Jojen asked.

"Your eyes will adjust," said Sam. "Keep one hand on the wall and you won't fall."

The well grew darker and colder with every turn. When Bran finally lifted his head around to look back up the shaft, the top of the well was no bigger than a half-moon. "Hodor," Hodor whispered, "Hodorhodorhodorhodorhodorhodor," the well whispered back. The water sounds were close, but when Bran peered down he saw only blackness.

A turn or two later Sam stopped suddenly. He was a quarter of the way around the well from Bran and Hodor and six feet farther down, yet Bran could barely see him. He could see the door, though. The Black Gate, Sam had called it, but it wasn't black at all.

It was white weirwood, and there was a face on it.

A glow came from the wood, like milk and moonlight, so faint it scarcely seemed to touch anything beyond the door itself, not even Sam standing right before it. The face was old and pale, wrinkled and shrunken. It looks dead. Its mouth was closed, and its eyes; its cheeks were sunken, its brow withered, its chin sagging. If a man could live for a thousand years and never die but just grow older, his face might come to look like that.

The door opened its eyes.

They were white too, and blind. "Who are you?" the door asked, and the well whispered, "Who-who-who-who-who-who-who."

"I am the sword in the darkness," Samwell Tarly said. "I am the watcher on the walls. I am the fire that burns against the cold, the light that brings the dawn, the horn that wakes the sleepers. I am the shield that guards the realms of men."

"Then pass," the door said. Its lips opened, wide and wider and wider still, until nothing at all remained but a great gaping mouth in a ring of wrinkles. Sam stepped aside and waved Jojen through ahead of him. Summer followed, sniffing as he went, and then it was Bran's turn. Hodor ducked, but not low enough. The door's upper lip brushed softly against the top of Bran's head, and a drop of water fell on him and ran slowly down his nose. It was strangely warm, and salty as a tear.


Magic? There is a well approximately 12 feet in diameter with stone steps either built or cut into it. Hodor had tossed a piece of slate into the well. When that piece of slate hit the water it seemed to Bran the sound of a gulp more that a splash.

What am trying to get at? On first read this is an interesting chapter about tales, legends, the Nightfort, Coldhands and a weirwood tree depicted as a gate. On subsequent reads I question this magical gate, an ancient weirwood tree living under the earth and under a humongous wall of ice.

It appears Martin’s intent starting in book one was to get Bran to Bloodraven. Bran’s storyline ends in a cliffhanger just as Jon’s and Dany’s did. Does Martin leave Bran in the cave or does Martin provide a way out? Rickon and Davos are also a cliffhanger of sorts.

The top of the Wall is supposed to be wide enough for a dozen mounted knights to ride abreast while the base is supposed to be thicker than that. That is quite thick. Did the Black Gate shed a tear on Bran before it swallowed Bran & company and spit them out on the other side? Why does this secret magic gate exist at Nightfort? Do the other castles along the Wall have secret gates that have been forgotten about?


Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...