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Rachel of Oldstones

Royce as first family to be named meaningless or foreshadowing?

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I'm sure it's been discussed but we're all impatiently TWoW and topics are getting recycled so forgive me.

But I find it hard to believe a Royce is the first character we meet with a family name yet while a respected house they have relatively small big picture relevance. I mean we know the GRRM's idea for the series didn't originate with the prologue but it's the entire series's prologue...

I know there's plenty of red herrings in our story but maybe there's some interesting thoughts out there worth discussing.. 

Thanks 

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I would imagine that the Royces are symbolic because they are Andalized First Men and as such its relevant to show how the Others isn't a problem for just the First Men or the Andals but a problem for mankind as a whole and they don't discriminate between race or culture. And its also a way to get the essence of Westeros, a melting pot, into the picture from early on.

That's my take on it.

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IMO the Royces along with a few other houses helped brandon the builder defeat the others, I also believe lord Royces armour provides some type of protection against the others ice magic and perhaps may be the lord protectors of the Vale again after both Sweet Robin and Harry the heir both die in the coming war. 

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Great question!

As @LionoftheWest said the Lords of Runestone may represent both the assimilated First Men culture of the South, and the danger The Others pose. The fact that they are the first house we are exposed to also makes me think something big could be at work.

Many take the stance that Bronze Yohn will offer his full support to Littlefinger, once Sansa is revealed. I'm not sure of this, but such an alliance could help the situation in The North, should The Vale forces march forth to claim Winterfell. We know House Royce has First Men roots, and Bronze Yohn seemed to have a respectful relationship with Eddard, so such a situation might not be out of the question. Then again, the brewing dissent between Bronze Yohn and Neston may take us down a different path.

The runic bronze armour worn by many members of the house is also interesting and has been speculated to perhaps play a part in The Long Night.

 

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I think the Royces are going to turn out to be more important than the books initially suggest. 

Yes, the first character of a named house we meet is a Royce. 

We then see and learn of the bronze armour at Ned's tourney. 

We learn he and Ned are friends, he stopped at WF while escorting his son to the NW

Their family still holds with bothering to become NW. 

We learn they wanted to enter the WoT5K on Robb's side

Sansa is given a Royce confident in the Vale

The Starks have relatives through a Stark Royce marriage. 

There have been joinings in both directions, not only did Jocelyn Stark marry a Royce, but a Royce wed Berron Stark. This is unusual for the Starks to marry outside their own lands. Or to send a bride outside them. The only other house to provide Stark Brides outside the North is Blackwood; another house name that rings bells for the reader. 

Their words are "We remember" = what exactly do they remember?

They are a first man house

they still decorate their House Shield with runes

That armour! I mean come on. 

So I concur with the above it is likely imo that House Royce were part of the original 12 companions to the LH. Alongside House Blackwood, and House Hightower. And others maybe Daynes and Tarths (Though I suspect they may be two sides of the same family) 

 

 

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Personally I don't think they'll be more significant than they seem.  A proud family with notable knights who will help in the wars to come.  It's a far more satisfying prolouge that way.  The Others were important for us to meet as our first impression.  Ser Wymar, Gared, and the other guy were just vehicles to suck us in with the foreboding tale.

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11 hours ago, The Weirwoods Eyes said:

I think the Royces are going to turn out to be more important than the books initially suggest. 

Yes, the first character of a named house we meet is a Royce. 

We then see and learn of the bronze armour at Ned's tourney. 

We learn he and Ned are friends, he stopped at WF while escorting his son to the NW

Their family still holds with bothering to become NW. 

We learn they wanted to enter the WoT5K on Robb's side

Sansa is given a Royce confident in the Vale

The Starks have relatives through a Stark Royce marriage. 

There have been joinings in both directions, not only did Jocelyn Stark marry a Royce, but a Royce wed Berron Stark. This is unusual for the Starks to marry outside their own lands. Or to send a bride outside them. The only other house to provide Stark Brides outside the North is Blackwood; another house name that rings bells for the reader. 

Their words are "We remember" = what exactly do they remember?

They are a first man house

they still decorate their House Shield with runes

That armour! I mean come on. 

So I concur with the above it is likely imo that House Royce were part of the original 12 companions to the LH. Alongside House Blackwood, and House Hightower. And others maybe Daynes and Tarths (Though I suspect they may be two sides of the same family)

Agreed. All of this.

The combination of the words and the armor adds up to one of the important clues about the Royces. Tobho Mott tells the Lannisters that old swords remember. Are the Royces like old swords somehow? (Ser Waymar is described as being slender as a knife.) If you believe in the words / sword wordplay, then the runes on their armor may spell out something that was supposed to be remembered but has been forgotten over the years.

As for the sword comparison, there are many ways that people personify weapons in the novels. So the Royces and/or their armor may play a key combat role at some point in the future, if Tobho Mott's insight applies to House Royce in the same way it applies to Valyrian steel swords.

10 hours ago, aryagonnakill#2 said:

They ironically show that even the house whose words are "we remember" have forgotten.

Or maybe the Royces do remember but no one has asked them lately what it is that they remember.

There is a motif around the burning of Winterfell library, Cersei tearing up the deathbed proclamation from Robert, Joffrey destroying the book from Tyrion, Davos and Wex Pyke learning to read. Something to do with destruction of writing, on the one hand, and attaining the ability to read on the other hand. Maybe the Royce armor is the item that bridges the gap: the armor is (perhaps) indestructible, so the runes endure, but people no longer know how to read the message.

Alternatively, instead of personifying a sword, what if there are some words, known only to the Royces, that become a key to resolving a conflict? A magic spell or a prophecy or legend, perhaps. Maybe some neglected terms of the pact with the CotF.

It would be too simple if Sam Tarly buckles down to his studies at the Citadel and quickly learns how to read runes, returning north to translate all of the forgotten lore engraved on armor or tombs or swords. Maybe Bran will look back in time to see a smith creating the armor, and we will find out why it was created in the first place.

In terms of symbolism, a few things about Ser Waymar may provide clues about his role or foreshadow the future role of the Royce family in the story: his sable cloak and his sword shattering into shards that are "like a rain of needles," blinding him in one eye. The sable is a kind of marten, related to weasels. Arya calls herself weasel at one point and she imagines being a skinny pink otter. (Also part of the weasel motif is the Frey family, as Jaime's cousin Daven Lannister thinks the members of that family all look like stoats.) The sword becoming needles and the blindness are also associated with Arya. If we can sort out the meaning of these elements, maybe we can anticipate what is in store for other Royces in the story (or for Arya).

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None of the prologues focus on a major character: Royce, Cressen, Chett, Pate, Varymyr. Major characters like Stannis and Sam are seen, but the action centers around someone minor -- and the POV always dies.

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22 hours ago, LionoftheWest said:

I would imagine that the Royces are symbolic because they are Andalized First Men and as such its relevant to show how the Others isn't a problem for just the First Men or the Andals but a problem for mankind as a whole and they don't discriminate between race or culture. And its also a way to get the essence of Westeros, a melting pot, into the picture from early on.

That's my take on it.

 Thanks!

That really makes sense, on a lot of levels! 

Simple, straightforward, and smart!

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15 hours ago, aryagonnakill#2 said:

They ironically show that even the house whose words are "we remember" have forgotten.

That'd be cool! They're a house I'd like to learn more about, either way!

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5 hours ago, Seams said:

Agreed. All of this.

The combination of the words and the armor adds up to one of the important clues about the Royces. Tobho Mott tells the Lannisters that old swords remember. Are the Royces like old swords somehow? (Ser Waymar is described as being slender as a knife.) If you believe in the words / sword wordplay, then the runes on their armor may spell out something that was supposed to be remembered but has been forgotten over the years.

As for the sword comparison, there are many ways that people personify weapons in the novels. So the Royces and/or their armor may play a key combat role at some point in the future, if Tobho Mott's insight applies to House Royce in the same way it applies to Valyrian steel swords.

Or maybe the Royces do remember but no one has asked them lately what it is that they remember.

There is a motif around the burning of Winterfell library, Cersei tearing up the deathbed proclamation from Robert, Joffrey destroying the book from Tyrion, Davos and Wex Pyke learning to read. Something to do with destruction of writing, on the one hand, and attaining the ability to read on the other hand. Maybe the Royce armor is the item that bridges the gap: the armor is (perhaps) indestructible, so the runes endure, but people no longer know how to read the message.

Alternatively, instead of personifying a sword, what if there are some words, known only to the Royces, that become a key to resolving a conflict? A magic spell or a prophecy or legend, perhaps. Maybe some neglected terms of the pact with the CotF.

It would be too simple if Sam Tarly buckles down to his studies at the Citadel and quickly learns how to read runes, returning north to translate all of the forgotten lore engraved on armor or tombs or swords. Maybe Bran will look back in time to see a smith creating the armor, and we will find out why it was created in the first place.

In terms of symbolism, a few things about Ser Waymar may provide clues about his role or foreshadow the future role of the Royce family in the story: his sable cloak and his sword shattering into shards that are "like a rain of needles," blinding him in one eye. The sable is a kind of marten, related to weasels. Arya calls herself weasel at one point and she imagines being a skinny pink otter. (Also part of the weasel motif is the Frey family, as Jaime's cousin Daven Lannister thinks the members of that family all look like stoats.) The sword becoming needles and the blindness are also associated with Arya. If we can sort out the meaning of these elements, maybe we can anticipate what is in store for other Royces in the story (or for Arya).

 

I really like the idea that someone is going to have to learn to read runes. I wonder about their arms as well. Do the runes around their heraldry say the same thing as the armour? Or is the armour engraved with spells of protection, and the heraldry says the thing which they remember? 

What if, and this is pure speculation. But what if given that runes are of specific significance to House Royce they actually have kept alive the ability to read them?  In which case Bronze Yhon could become pretty important if say he is taken or travells north as i suspect most people will be doing towards the end of Winds. And he can read some of those books at the wall, and teach others to read runes? 

I get the feeling that some important information is locked away in that lost language, another idea I've had previously is that perhaps a wilding or two will know the runes? Maybe Morna, as I've said before I have a theory re: Woods witches. It isn't hugely elaborate mind. But basically that they are way more powerful and significant in the Old Gods faith as it once was, and as it is preserved beyond the wall than modern day Westerosi's realise.  

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Anyone else notice the only historical Boltons we know about are Royce I, Royce II, Royce III, Royce IV and Royce V, Rogar the huntsman, and Belthasar Bolton?  I mean, it seems like Royce is a familial traditional name for the Boltons like Brandon, Aegon or Durran.  Roose is most likely a variation of Royce.  We also have Rogar the Huntsman and the Royces have Robar Royce, Robar I Royce, Robar II Royce.   I have nothing else to go off of, just a lingering suspicion I have had for the past few days.

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That's interesting @Crowfood's Daughter I'd not noticed the use of Royce in the Bolton family tree. Do you think it might be a case of a daughter using her own surname as her son's given name? I know that is a thing in some places. 

 

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22 minutes ago, Crowfood's Daughter said:

Anyone else notice the only historical Boltons we know about are Royce I, Royce II, Royce III, Royce IV and Royce V, Rogar the huntsman, and Belthasar Bolton?  I mean, it seems like Royce is a familial traditional name for the Boltons like Brandon, Aegon or Durran.  Roose is most likely a variation of Royce.  We also have Rogar the Huntsman and the Royces have Robar Royce, Robar I Royce, Robar II Royce.   I have nothing else to go off of, just a lingering suspicion I have had for the past few days.

They have perhaps same blood origin, I mean they could be same family of wolves hunters and once - for one particular reason - one young brother established his own lineage (in that configuration, the Royce family could be the youngest lineage). I don't know, but in the present of the saga, the theme of the armor, the squires, the hunt and the death of a king are linked and perhaps there are here some clues if not answer. 

For example, Hugh of the Vale, the young Jon Arryn's squire, after Jon's death, receives a magnificent armor and is made knight. Sadly he is killed by the Mountain. Curiously, Varys suggests to Eddard Stark that Hugh was the one who gave the poison to Jon Arryn, ordered by someone, and killed to ensure his silence. 

Other squire to explore a little the squire's theme : Lancel Lannister who gives the poisoned wine to Robert during the hunt. Robert is hunting a white huge stag - a royal symbol - but finds only the horns (= Robert bears horns instead a crown), before finding his proper death in a fight against a boar. After Robert's death, Lancel becomes queen's Cersei Lover and is made knight; and after Blackwater battle, Lancel receives lordship of Darry and a wife to begin his own lineage. The other Robert's squire - Tyrek - is married to a baby, the heir of the house Hayford, but he mysteriously disappears during the riot of KL. 

Following the schema, we could wonder how the runic armor went to Royce family and what kind of service a Royce could have offered and who he served. 

I'm hesitant with the sable cloak : for me, it is a sign of luxury that Waymar exhibites (like Hugh of the Vale exhibites his new armor and cloak at the Tourney of the Hand), and that is noted by Will and Gared, who have a very low origin. So I take it as an echo of the runic armor, a kind of relic that Waymar keeps with him to remember his origin. 

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1 minute ago, The Weirwoods Eyes said:

That's interesting @Crowfood's Daughter I'd not noticed the use of Royce in the Bolton family tree. Do you think it might be a case of a daughter using her own surname as her son's given name? I know that is a thing in some places. 

 

I'm not quite sure what to make of it other than some sort of ancestral relation.  Any specifics, I have none whatsoever. Only my suspicions and the fact they call Ramsay's eyes "ghost grey" like his father's and the Royce's seem to have grey eyes.  Ramsay also had a sable cloak that he gave to the original Reek in order to escape. 

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7 hours ago, Seams said:

Agreed. All of this.

The combination of the words and the armor adds up to one of the important clues about the Royces. Tobho Mott tells the Lannisters that old swords remember. Are the Royces like old swords somehow? (Ser Waymar is described as being slender as a knife.) If you believe in the words / sword wordplay, then the runes on their armor may spell out something that was supposed to be remembered but has been forgotten over the years.

As for the sword comparison, there are many ways that people personify weapons in the novels. So the Royces and/or their armor may play a key combat role at some point in the future, if Tobho Mott's insight applies to House Royce in the same way it applies to Valyrian steel swords.

Or maybe the Royces do remember but no one has asked them lately what it is that they remember.

There is a motif around the burning of Winterfell library, Cersei tearing up the deathbed proclamation from Robert, Joffrey destroying the book from Tyrion, Davos and Wex Pyke learning to read. Something to do with destruction of writing, on the one hand, and attaining the ability to read on the other hand. Maybe the Royce armor is the item that bridges the gap: the armor is (perhaps) indestructible, so the runes endure, but people no longer know how to read the message.

Alternatively, instead of personifying a sword, what if there are some words, known only to the Royces, that become a key to resolving a conflict? A magic spell or a prophecy or legend, perhaps. Maybe some neglected terms of the pact with the CotF.

It would be too simple if Sam Tarly buckles down to his studies at the Citadel and quickly learns how to read runes, returning north to translate all of the forgotten lore engraved on armor or tombs or swords. Maybe Bran will look back in time to see a smith creating the armor, and we will find out why it was created in the first place.

In terms of symbolism, a few things about Ser Waymar may provide clues about his role or foreshadow the future role of the Royce family in the story: his sable cloak and his sword shattering into shards that are "like a rain of needles," blinding him in one eye. The sable is a kind of marten, related to weasels. Arya calls herself weasel at one point and she imagines being a skinny pink otter. (Also part of the weasel motif is the Frey family, as Jaime's cousin Daven Lannister thinks the members of that family all look like stoats.) The sword becoming needles and the blindness are also associated with Arya. If we can sort out the meaning of these elements, maybe we can anticipate what is in store for other Royces in the story (or for Arya).

A most interesting speculation here! 

I wonder if the destruction of books and libraries is a shout-out to The Name of the Rose, a brilliant analysis of the breakdown of the medieval mindset?

Where can I read more about those runes associated with House Royce?

Off to investigate.

 

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2 hours ago, The Weirwoods Eyes said:

I really like the idea that someone is going to have to learn to read runes. I wonder about their arms as well. Do the runes around their heraldry say the same thing as the armour? Or is the armour engraved with spells of protection, and the heraldry says the thing which they remember? 

What if, and this is pure speculation. But what if given that runes are of specific significance to House Royce they actually have kept alive the ability to read them?  In which case Bronze Yhon could become pretty important if say he is taken or travells north as i suspect most people will be doing towards the end of Winds. And he can read some of those books at the wall, and teach others to read runes? 

Any chance the people of Thenn may have some connection to the runes? Magnar Styr weilded a weirwood spear topped with an ornate bronze head, and even more peculiarly wore a suit bronze scaled armour.  Let's not forget, the Magnars of Thenn are considered to be closer to gods than men by their people, which for some reason makes me think of the runes of Royce. If we think of Thenn as "Then", the place and people signify the past - Thenns use bronze weaponry, bronze armour and keep the Old Tongue. These practices draw to mind the four main gimmicks of House Royce - The words "We Remember", bronze armour, First Men Runes and the lost Valyrian sword "Lamentation" - all traits which brings the "past" to mind. If we put these together, the people of Thenn and Runestone each have several parallels drawing upon images of a time gone by.

Consider the location of Thenn, nestled deep in a valley in The Frostfangs, the home of The Magnar and his people lies geographically closest to The Land of Always Winter. 

In regards to the family's heirloom sword, Lamentation, what exactly was House Royce lamenting? Lamentation can mean "a passionate expresion of sorrow" aswell as some form of "complaint" - both which bring to mind the Andal Invasion, assimilation of First Men culture, Lord Yohn's apparent hoary nature, Royce men dying in their Bronze armour, Waymar fighting The Others and perhaps even The Long Night.

If we look at the Christian Bible's The Book of Lamentations, we hear of tales which draw several parallels to both the current situation in Westeros, and the Battle For The Dawn.

From Wikipedia: 

Lamentations combines elements of the qinah, a funeral dirge for the loss of the city, and the "communal lament" pleading for the restoration of its people.[10] It reflects the view, traceable to Sumerian literature of a thousand years earlier, that the destruction of the holy city was a punishment by God for the communal sin of its people.[11]

Beginning with the reality of disaster, Lamentations concludes with the bitter possibility that God may have finally rejected Israel (chapter 5:22). Sufferers in the face of grief are not urged to a confidence in the goodness of God; in fact God is accountable for the disaster. The poet acknowledges that this suffering is a just punishment, still God is held to have had choice over whether to act in this way and at this time. Hope arises from a recollection of God's past goodness, but although this justifies a cry to God to act in deliverance, there is no guarantee that he will. Repentance will not persuade God to be gracious, since he is free to give or withhold grace as he chooses. In the end, the possibility is that God has finally rejected his people and may not again deliver them: if God is predictable, then God is just a tool of humans. Nevertheless, it also affirms confidence that the mercies of Yahweh (the God of Israel) never end, but are new every morning (3:22–33)

Could any of this tie into The Runes or even perhaps The Long Night?

After all, "We Remember"

 

 

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