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Crowfood's Daughter

Tormund's armbands

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I just noticed something.  Tormund's armbands are old and have been passed down from father to son.  Many readers including myself have wondered what is going on with those armbands.  Tormund is one of the few wildling we see wearing adornments, especially gold.   

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“When all my folk are safe behind your Wall, we’ll share a bit o’ meat and mead. Till then …” The wildling pulled off the band from his left arm and tossed it at Jon, then did the same with its twin upon his right. “Your first payment. Had those from my father and him from his. Now they’re yours, you thieving black bastard.” The armbands were old gold, solid and heavy, engraved with the ancient runes of the First Men. Tormund Giantsbane had worn them as long as Jon had known him; they had seemed as much a part of him as his beard. “The Braavosi will melt these down for the gold. That seems a shame. Perhaps you ought to keep them.”

Now here is where I realized we don't really see much gold north of the wall.  The only other mention of gold beyond the wall is a few golden torques given to the Night's Watch and of course the so-called horn of winter (yes, sam has the real one).  Just look at the description of the bands on the horn; they are also old, graven with runes and probably the perfect size for Tormund's "massive arms". 

 

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The horn was huge, eight feet along the curve and so wide at the mouth that he could have put his arm inside up to the elbow. If this came from an aurochs, it was the biggest that ever lived. At first he thought the bands around it were bronze, but when he moved closer he realized they were gold. Old gold, more brown than yellow, and graven with runes.

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Thick gold bands graven with runes bound his massive arms,

 

So anyway, I am seeing this as a possibility.  Maybe there were more horns like this in the past and Tormund bands are a family heirloom although it's origins are now seemingly lost to them.

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This is great. Nice finds! I like the notion that Tormund "Horn-blower" gave Jon a set of golden twins;) when the wildlings pay homage to Jon as they pass through the wall.

I always wondered if Tormund wasn't the horn himself. Prophecy and the details that go along with it are always foggy and often misinterpreted in this story. ADDING: If there is a literal horn that is needed, I think it is the one Sam has with him down south right now (for many reasons). So we have Tormund with gold bands marked with runes, and later at the pink letter reading in the very symbolic shieldhall, we get Tormund blowing a horn twice. And then Jon asks for a "horn" just before he is stabbed. Well, what if that horn Jon gets is the back up and support of Tormund Horn-blower at this time???

In Ragnarok, one of the final signs that the world is about to end is the crowing of three "cocks". HAR! Have you seen the size of Tormund's member???

With the mutiny happening, that means the brothers have fallen apart and not stood together, which means the "wall falls". When the wall falls, the Others can pass. Tormund being the third "horn blast" at the mutiny while the wall falls is the sign that the Others can now pass. The last thing Jon feels at his mutiny is, "only the cold." This could be the sign that the Others are indeed now on their way.

  • If the Wall falls, night falls as well, the long night that never ends.
  • Jon Snow glanced toward the stockade. Two walls were down, a third falling fast.
  • A wall is only as good as the men defending it.

A Dance with Dragons - Jon XIII

The Shieldhall went mad.
Every man began to shout at once. They leapt to their feet, shaking fists. So much for the calming power of comfortable benches. Swords were brandished, axes smashed against shields. Jon Snow looked to Tormund. The Giantsbane sounded his horn once more, twice as long and twice as loud as the first time.
 
~~~and then while out in the yard just before the mutiny stabbing~~~
Wun Weg Wun Dar Wun howled again and gave Ser Patrek's other arm a twist and pull. It tore loose from his shoulder with a spray of bright red blood. Like a child pulling petals off a daisy, thought Jon. "Leathers, talk to him, calm him. The Old Tongue, he understands the Old Tongue. Keep back, the rest of you. Put away your steel, we're scaring him." Couldn't they see the giant had been cut? Jon had to put an end to this or more men would die. They had no idea of Wun Wun's strength. A horn, I need a horn. He saw the glint of steel, turned toward it. "No blades!" he screamed. "Wick, put that knife …"
 

A Storm of Swords - Jon II

"I never did, but see you don't go spreading that about. Tormund Giantsbane has a better ring to it than Tormund Giantsbabe, and that's the honest truth o' it."
"So how did you come by your other names?" Jon asked. "Mance called you the Horn-Blower, didn't he? Mead-king of Ruddy Hall, Husband to Bears, Father to Hosts?" It was the horn blowing he particularly wanted to hear about, but he dared not ask too plainly. And Joramun blew the Horn of Winter, and woke giants from the earth. Is that where they had come from, them and their mammoths? Had Mance Rayder found the Horn of Joramun, and given it to Tormund Thunderfist to blow?
 

A Storm of Swords - Jon X

"What if we refuse the offer?" Jon had no doubt that they would. The Old Bear might at least have listened, though he would have balked at the notion of letting thirty or forty thousand wildlings loose on the Seven Kingdoms. But Alliser Thorne and Janos Slynt would dismiss the notion out of hand.
"If you refuse," Mance Rayder said, "Tormund Giantsbane will sound the Horn of Winter three days hence, at dawn."
 
According to the most accurate to date Timeline, the free folk have been at CB for three days, and that is when the assassination attempt happened. 
 
~~~You know nothing, Jon Snow!
 

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29 minutes ago, The Fattest Leech said:

I always wondered if Tormund wasn't the horn himself.

That's what I was thinking, too.

I was also surprised to notice on the current re-read of ACoK that Jon notes that Craster wears a gold bracelet (? I think? Maybe and armband - I don't have my book at work) when we are first introduced to him. So that gold "beyond the Wall" was noteworthy enough that Jon mentioned it. I don't know whether it is connected at all to Tormund's stash.

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1 minute ago, Seams said:

That's what I was thinking, too.

Well then, I guess we could be on to something :idea:It is always a reassuring thing when other people also share your (crackpot) ideas. :thumbsup:

This, in my mind, goes along with how many swords are a man's wiener, and how Nissa Nissa and the moon cracking story could be about sex or birth, etc- which is why when it happens on page, it probably won't be how many readers expect it to be. Or not?

 

1 minute ago, Seams said:

I was also surprised to notice on the current re-read of ACoK that Jon notes that Craster wears a gold bracelet (? I think? Maybe and armband - I don't have my book at work) when we are first introduced to him. So that gold "beyond the Wall" was noteworthy enough that Jon mentioned it. I don't know whether it is connected at all to Tormund's stash.

I just double checked for you:

  • Craster's sheepskin jerkin and cloak of sewn skins made a shabby contrast, but around one thick wrist was a heavy ring that had the glint of gold.

There is something odd about gold in the north. I am assuming that many pieces were taken during raids and that is how some pieces ended up north of the wall? I am assuming a much smaller portion could be heirlooms from eons past??? But we know that gold has almost not practical use or value in the north. The gold that was painted atop Queenscrowne is flaking away, and that is probably to show that the gold dragons influence isn't lasting up north? That deal by "Good" Queen Alysanne was not handled properly in the first place and is still having a negative impact to this day.

  • Stannis snorted. "You spend your words as if every one were a golden dragon. I wonder, how much gold do you have laid by?"
    "Gold?" Are those the dragons the red woman means to wake? Dragons made of gold? "Such taxes as we collect are paid in kind, Your Grace. The Watch is rich in turnips but poor in coin."
  • (This one is a little cheeky when paired with the quote above, but still symbolic) Pyp had stabbed a turnip with his knife. "The night is dark and full of turnips," he announced in a solemn voice. "Let us all pray for venison, my children, with some onions and a bit of tasty gravy." His friends laughed—Grenn, Toad, Satin, the whole lot of them.

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2 hours ago, The Fattest Leech said:

This is great. Nice finds! I like the notion that Tormund "Horn-blower" gave Jon a set of golden twins;) when the wildlings pay homage to Jon as they pass through the wall.

I always wondered if Tormund wasn't the horn himself. Prophecy and the details that go along with it are always foggy and often misinterpreted in this story. ADDING: If there is a literal horn that is needed, I think it is the one Sam has with him down south right now (for many reasons). So we have Tormund with gold bands marked with runes, and later at the pink letter reading in the very symbolic shieldhall, we get Tormund blowing a horn twice. And then Jon asks for a "horn" just before he is stabbed. Well, what if that horn Jon gets is the back up and support of Tormund Horn-blower at this time???

With the mutiny happening, that means the brothers have fallen apart and not stood together, which means the "wall falls". When the wall falls, the Others can pass. Tormund being the third "horn blast" at the mutiny while the wall falls is the sign that the Others can now pass.

  • If the Wall falls, night falls as well, the long night that never ends.
  • Jon Snow glanced toward the stockade. Two walls were down, a third falling fast.
  • A wall is only as good as the men defending it.

A Dance with Dragons - Jon XIII

The Shieldhall went mad.
Every man began to shout at once. They leapt to their feet, shaking fists. So much for the calming power of comfortable benches. Swords were brandished, axes smashed against shields. Jon Snow looked to Tormund. The Giantsbane sounded his horn once more, twice as long and twice as loud as the first time.
 
~~~and then while out in the yard just before the mutiny stabbing~~~
Wun Weg Wun Dar Wun howled again and gave Ser Patrek's other arm a twist and pull. It tore loose from his shoulder with a spray of bright red blood. Like a child pulling petals off a daisy, thought Jon. "Leathers, talk to him, calm him. The Old Tongue, he understands the Old Tongue. Keep back, the rest of you. Put away your steel, we're scaring him." Couldn't they see the giant had been cut? Jon had to put an end to this or more men would die. They had no idea of Wun Wun's strength. A horn, I need a horn. He saw the glint of steel, turned toward it. "No blades!" he screamed. "Wick, put that knife …"

We also know what else three blasts can be...how is this for symbolism"  If the wall fell the others would be able to pass into the seven kingdoms.
 

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“No dream,” said Chett. “Two blasts to call the Watch to arms. Two blasts for foes approaching. There’s an axe out there with Piggy writ on it, fat boy. Two blasts means wildlings.” The fear on that big moon face made him want to laugh. “Bugger them all to seven hells. Bloody Harma. Bloody Mance Rayder. Bloody Smallwood, he said they wouldn’t be on us for another—” Uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuhooooooooooooooooooooooooo. The sound went on and on and on, until it seemed it would never die. The ravens were flapping and screaming, flying about their cages and banging off the bars, and all about the camp the brothers of the Night’s Watch were rising, donning their armor, buckling on swordbelts, reaching for battleaxes and bows. Samwell Tarly stood shaking, his face the same color as the snow that swirled down all around them. “Three,” he squeaked to Chett, “that was three, I heard three. They never blow three. Not for hundreds and thousands of years. Three means—”  “— Others.” Chett made a sound that was half a laugh and half a sob, and suddenly his smallclothes were wet, and he could feel the piss running down his leg, see steam rising off the front of his breeches.

 

 

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5 hours ago, The Fattest Leech said:

This is great. Nice finds! I like the notion that Tormund "Horn-blower" gave Jon a set of golden twins;) when the wildlings pay homage to Jon as they pass through the wall.

I always wondered if Tormund wasn't the horn himself. Prophecy and the details that go along with it are always foggy and often misinterpreted in this story. ADDING: If there is a literal horn that is needed, I think it is the one Sam has with him down south right now (for many reasons). So we have Tormund with gold bands marked with runes, and later at the pink letter reading in the very symbolic shieldhall, we get Tormund blowing a horn twice. And then Jon asks for a "horn" just before he is stabbed. Well, what if that horn Jon gets is the back up and support of Tormund Horn-blower at this time???

 

@The Fattest Leech Hey I just checked out Reddit for some more armband ideas and your ideas on Tormund are making sense to me after reading this.  Maybe Tormund is the horn. https://www.reddit.com/r/asoiaf/comments/3zgdol/spoilers_all_tormund_blows_aka_the_horn_of_winter/

 

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16 minutes ago, Crowfood's daughter said:

@The Fattest Leech Hey I just checked out Reddit for some more armband ideas and your ideas on Tormund are making sense to me after reading this.  Maybe Tormund is the horn. https://www.reddit.com/r/asoiaf/comments/3zgdol/spoilers_all_tormund_blows_aka_the_horn_of_winter/

 

Huh. Guess I'm not so crazy after all???:dunno:

I'm driving at the moment, well, in a second, but I'm will check that out when I get home. Thanks! 

Oh, and the third horn blow from Tormund is definitely the third horn for the Others. Thanks Bowen :angry2:

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I'm surprised someone hasn't made the obvious point that with Tormund's member, he needs bands that big to use as rings for it.

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1 hour ago, Crowfood's daughter said:

@The Fattest Leech Hey I just checked out Reddit for some more armband ideas and your ideas on Tormund are making sense to me after reading this.  Maybe Tormund is the horn. https://www.reddit.com/r/asoiaf/comments/3zgdol/spoilers_all_tormund_blows_aka_the_horn_of_winter/

 

Checking it out now. Pretty good. They found some text from Aemon that I hadn't thought of yet. I totally agree with my main star slinger, Wun Wun. 

@bemused and @Seams may also be interested.

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Yes, I like this .. sorry I'm just nipping in, I'll have to go back and read from the beginning (thanks for the tag, @The Fattest Leech

Related : I've often wondered when someone will come forward to read the runes.. I've also wondered exactly where Tormund's armbands are.. if they have actually been sent to Braavos.. probably not, since Tycho's ships have been put to use.. And I've wondered if the giant's horn was actually burned, or if that was a glamour too ..and how that might connect to Tormund Giantsbabe.

Two hornblasts.. wildlings.. hmmm.. I was noticing the other night while working on something else, that in the shieldhall, after Tormund has blown his horn and Jon has asked Is there any man here who will come stand with me (I think people often forget what Jon actually asked the free folk)... The roar was all he could have hoped for, the tumult so loud that the two old shields tumbled from the walls. ... I thought this symbolic of the last vestiges of what the NW was falling away..

My pollyanna side chooses to think that Jon is forming a new NW with a new understanding of the original vows, and it may make a huge (yu-u-uge ;)) difference that this is happening before the onset of a new possible long night, rather than at the end of it, like last time.

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5 minutes ago, bemused said:

Yes, I like this .. sorry I'm just nipping in, I'll have to go back and read from the beginning (thanks for the tag) 

Related : I've often wondered when someone will come forward to read the runes.. I've also wondered exactly where Tormund's armbands are.. if they have actually been sent to Braavos.. probably not, since Tycho's ships have been put to use.. And I've wondered if the giant's horn was actually burned, or if that was a glamour too ..and how that might connect to Tormund Giantsbabe.

Two hornblasts.. wildlings.. hmmm.. I was noticing the other night while working on something else, that in the shieldhall, after Tormund has blown his horn and Jon has asked Is there any man here,who will come stand with me (I think people often forget what Jon actually asked the free folk)... The roar was all he could have hoped for, the tumult so loud that the two old shields tumbled from the walls. ... I thought this symbolic of the last vestiges of what the NW was falling away..

My pollyanna side chooses to think that Jon is forming a new NW with a new understanding of the original vows, and it may make a huge (yu-u-uge ;)) difference that this is happening before the onset of a new possible long night, rather than at the end of it, like last time.

The roar was all he could have hoped for, the tumult so loud that the two old shields tumbled from the walls.

:bang: Right there, hiding in plain sight all along!!! Good catch.

When Jon describes Shieldhall earlier, he mentions that when a brother dies, his shield comes down. Now we have two to come down. Hmmm, which two :idea:

Oh, and I agree that the original vows of the NW are going to come back into play with a new setup.

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11 minutes ago, The Fattest Leech said:

Now we have two to come down. Hmmm, which two :idea:

They'd have to be nobles .. Mallister? (yipes, the Weeper!) Thorne? Benjen?(No-o-o) Edd?(No-o-o) Who else ???

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16 minutes ago, bemused said:

They'd have to be nobles .. Mallister? (yipes, the Weeper!) Thorne? Benjen?(No-o-o) Who else ???

Of the four main conspirators, we have already lost one, Janos Slynt, and Thorne is away, and Alliser tells Jon this as he is setting out for his ranging and I think it could mean something else when he does return:

  • You would like me to refuse. Then you could hack off my head, same as you did for Slynt. I'll not give you that pleasure, bastard. You'd best pray that it's a wildling blade that kills me, though. The ones the Others kill don't stay dead ... and they remember. I'm coming back, Lord Snow.

Yarwyck was a conspirator in the beginning and I am sure along with the idea in general, but maybe not a major player by this point because John sent him to Nightfort. Maybe the fact that Yarwyck pulled his Lord Commander voting support away from Slynt was also another hint at that??? Just an idea. 

So, Bowen Marsh I think for sure as the second shield down.

Do you have any other thoughts on who could be second?

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On 2/3/2017 at 11:57 AM, Seams said:

That's what I was thinking, too.

I was also surprised to notice on the current re-read of ACoK that Jon notes that Craster wears a gold bracelet (? I think? Maybe and armband - I don't have my book at work) when we are first introduced to him. So that gold "beyond the Wall" was noteworthy enough that Jon mentioned it. I don't know whether it is connected at all to Tormund's stash.

Not just Craster, but Varamyr was apparently also given a gold arm band by Mance, interestingly enough:

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It was snowing, and Varamyr had lost his own cloaks at the Wall. His sleeping pelts and woolen smallclothes, his sheepskin boots and fur-lined gloves, his store of mead and hoarded food, the hanks of hair he took from the women he bedded, even the golden arm rings Mance had given him, all lost and left behind.

 

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45 minutes ago, Frey family reunion said:

Not just Craster, but Varamyr was apparently also given a gold arm band by Mance, interestingly enough:

 

The fellowship of the rings? :lmao:

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7 hours ago, bemused said:

They'd have to be nobles .. Mallister? (yipes, the Weeper!) Thorne? Benjen?(No-o-o) Edd?(No-o-o) Who else ???

Marsh will pay for his coup

I forgot Mallister but that seems likely. In Mels POV she sees the eyeless men again in the flames, It's stated she looks for personal danger first and I think her visions kinda work the same way. That's why the Weeper, who isn't that important in the grand scheme of things is referenced first in the flames, he's not an immediate threat to her but he's coming in hot.

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23 hours ago, The Fattest Leech said:

Yarwyck was a conspirator in the beginning and I am sure along with the idea in general, but maybe not a major player by this point because John sent him to Nightfort. Maybe the fact that Yarwyck pulled his Lord Commander voting support away from Slynt was also another hint at that??? Just an idea. 

So, Bowen Marsh I think for sure as the second shield down.

Do you have any other thoughts on who could be second?

My real hopes would be Thorne and Marsh for 1 and 2.

I'm not sure the Weeper will act quite yet.. but as @The Fresh PtwP notes, he'll be coming right along .. I think well before the Others..

I don't think Yarwick was ever really in on the conspiracy since the choosing. We're told he's a follower... Well, the more I think about him, I think he chose who to follow right then. I'm sure he must have voted for Jon. He framed the choice as between Jon and Slynt, but didn't throw his votes to Slynt as Thorne and Marsh expected - and went further by pointing out some negatives about Slynt. He partakes enthusiastically of Jon's personal hospitality and says it was good of Jon to offer... Bowen always refuses to partake.. We're encouraged to see them as cronies when we see them together with Jon, but they're together because Jon needs to see them both, or they both want to see him at the same time.

A lot of his "opposition" to Jon seems to me to stem from pure superstition, which can gradually be overcome. (Eventually, even Yarwick is bound to notice that Wun Wun eats vegetables, not men).. He's already given the wildlings grudging credit for having a few good woodworkers. ..But Bowen's hidebound resistance to new ideas and political fears and Thorne's deadly intent are not so easily overcome. 

You may know by now :rolleyes: that I feel very sure Thorne is there, but I won't derail this by airing my reasons again(unless invited,of course).

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On 2/4/2017 at 4:26 PM, bemused said:

They'd have to be nobles .. Mallister? (yipes, the Weeper!) Thorne? Benjen?(No-o-o) Edd?(No-o-o) Who else ???

Ok, I might have found a clue that it could be two other mutineer/conspirator guys at Castle Black whose shield falls from the wall. I will try to keep this short, but I do need to do some explaining in order to properly show the connectional hints, and it turns out those hints may be in the AFFC/Sansa VI chapter. That chapter with her on the black ship, The Merling King (Jon), and then her time on the fingers with Petyr and creepy singer dude is incredibly indicative of Jon's time with Craster at his Keep- including the scenery, the buildings, the mix of loyalties, both have the water/sea connections, wet nurses that are in charge of the mud midden "Keep's", mud that could be poop, sheep, the blatant or quasi incest-rape issue that is going on in both locations. Ugh:stillsick:! Re-read that chapter if you haven't in a while. Just to clarify: Even though this scene for Sansa is set up like a Craster's 2.0, the fact that the Merling King idea was only just introduced in the same book as Jon becoming LC of the NW is why I think it works for the mutiny as well.

The theme of a "broken neck" pops up here and there throughout the story (including the Neck-neck). We learn this in that Sansa chapter:

  • Off the bow of the Merling King stretched a bare and stony strand, windswept, treeless, and uninviting. Even so, it made a welcome sight. They had been a long while clawing their way back on course. The last storm had swept them out of sight of land, and sent such waves crashing over the sides of the galley that Sansa had been certain they were all going to drown. Two men had been swept overboard, she had heard old Oswell saying, and another had fallen from the mast and broken his neck.

So, I guess Slynt was the one who had been knocked down off his high ego-mast and has his neck "broken."

Bowen Marsh definitely seems to be the best choice for man overboard, but yeah, I am back to a big blank for the who the second man overboard is??? Thorne is a good one, no doubt, so maybe he is dead already and coming back as a wight???

Or not :dunno:, just trying to link his comment to Jon and this two shields down discovery.

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Fascinating. Very nice catch to connect the Merling King storm to the falling of the shields at Castle Black. I would have connected Sansa's storm experience to Tyrion's storm experience:

Tyrion could hear someone screaming from below, a thin, high voice hysterical with fear. He could hear Moqorro too. The red priest stood on the forecastle facing the storm, his staff raised above his head as he boomed a prayer. Amidships, a dozen sailors and two of the fiery fingers were struggling with tangled lines and sodden canvas, but whether they were trying to raise the sail again or pull it down he never knew. Whatever they were doing, it seemed to him a very bad idea. And so it was.
 
The wind returned as a whispered threat, cold and damp, brushing over his cheek, flapping the wet sail, swirling and tugging at Moqorro's scarlet robes. Some instinct made Tyrion grab hold of the nearest rail, just in time. In the space of three heartbeats the little breeze became a howling gale. Moqorro shouted something, and green flames leapt from the dragon's maw atop his staff to vanish in the night. Then the rains came, black and blinding, and forecastle and sterncastle both vanished behind a wall of water. Something huge flapped overhead, and Tyrion glanced up in time to see the sail taking wing, with two men still dangling from the lines. Then he heard a crack. Oh, bloody hell, he had time to think, that had to be the mast.

(ADwD, Tyrion IX)

Maybe all three are related, and can help to clarify each other. Before his voyages and on the Shy Maid and the Selaesori Qhoran, Tyrion keeps encountering two fingers. Most notably, the Rhlor worshipper Benerro uses two fingers to write Valyrian glyphs with fire. Tyrion recognizes two of the glyphs, representing Darkness and Doom. Tyrion has nicknamed the five men who accompany Moqorro on the Selaesori Qhoran as his five fingers; the two blown overboard he refers to as the "fiery fingers." I have always seen the loss of the two men with the sail "taking wing" and the crack of the mast as the hatching of an egg (the crack is the cracking of the shell) and a symbolic dragon taking wing. I am also sticking to my theory that Moqorro is secretly loyal to Tyrion and was just using the voyage to Dany as a pretext. I think he is faking his support for Victarion Greyjoy and will be a turncloak when the time is right.

I strongly associate the loss of two fingers with Great Jon Umber, however, whose fingers were bitten off by Grey Wind (another storm symbol). When the direwolf maims him, he instantly gains Great Jon's respect and loyalty for Robb Stark. I assumed the loss of two of Moqorro's "fingers" was a symbolic way of drawing the parallel between Great Jon and Moqorro; Robb Stark and Tyrion.

In relation to this thread, I guess my point is that I don't think the falling shields necessarily represent the death of Jon's enemies among the Night's Watch. People have pointed out that the Starks are strongly associated with the underworld and with death imagery, with Ned Stark even serving as an underworld king. The falling shields immediately precede Jon's "death." Since death seems to be just a temporary stage that Starks pass through on their way to their natural post-death state, the shields could represent men who will ally with Jon in death. Or, like the men who take wing while Tyrion watches, they could represent Doom and Darkness.

To complicate things further, I think that shields can represent doors. Brienne hires a woman to repaint her borrowed shield after she sees a beautiful door the woman has painted with an idealized landscape. It seems as if Brienne wants to carry that door with her; to be able to enter that landscape. Maybe the falling shields represent the doors Jon Snow is about to pass through: one to the afterlife, and the other back into Westeros after he is revived.

The fact that the men blown overboard on Tyrion's and Sansa's voyages are unnamed probably means that GRRM does not have specific people in mind for the fallen shields. They represent something, but don't foreshadow specific deaths, I suspect.

I would grant that the guy who breaks his neck falling from the mast on Sansa's voyage is probably representative of Janos Slynt. GRRM made a point of associating Slynt's death with hanging imagery - in the first draft, I understand Slynt was hanged instead of being beheaded by Jon. GRRM changed the death to a beheading and had Jon imagine a hanging after someone pointed out that Jon would want to follow Ned's rule about the person passing the sentence being the one to wield the sword. (On Tyrion's voyage, some follow-up language describing the broken mast makes me think it might represent the crossbow quarrel stuck in Lord Tywin's gut.)

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