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Lyanna Stark: A Gift from Old Gods

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On 4/2/2017 at 1:19 PM, Voice said:

The slim, sad girl who wore a crown of pale blue roses and a white gown spattered with gore could only be Lyanna.

Yes, I've always thought this strange dream reference to gore fits an impromptu C-section pretty well.  It also fits:

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Promise me, she had cried, in a room that smelled of blood and roses.

And puerperal fever, so often cited as if it were canonical fact... isn't a canonical fact.

On 4/3/2017 at 11:38 AM, Voice said:

I've seen holy wars conjured from fever-dreamed towers, long fallen. 

I have too, but the problem with religious zealots is that they sooner or later suffer from Great Disappointments.

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11 hours ago, HoodedCrow said:

GRRM is a maestro. I was just watching a series on music, in which great composers did a lot of recycling, expanding and elaborating on themes. Thanks for your speculations!

Cool!

And yes, composers are a great example. They would often flip or inverse a melody they liked and use it for the basis of a new piece. And they were "new," technically speaking. But the repeated blueprint is obvious to a trained eye/ear.

 

11 hours ago, HoodedCrow said:

Do you think there will be more on Ned?

I like to think there will be. He visited Rickon and Bran after his death, in their dreams. And he may well be waiting in the crypts for Jon.

There's something about Jon that is upsetting Ned, even after his death.

The mention of dreams reminded him. I dreamed about the crow again last night. The one with three eyes. He flew into my bedchamber and told me to come with him, so I did. We went down to the crypts. Father was there, and we talked. He was sad.”
And why was that?Luwin peered through his tube.
It was something to do about Jon, I think.The dream had been deeply disturbing, more so than any of the other crow dreams. Hodor wont go down into the crypts.

 

Mayhaps Ned will play a part in Jon's reunion with his mother.

 

11 hours ago, HoodedCrow said:

:) I will definitely read Nightfyers, now, I say, wearing a white nightgown, holding a guttering candle in the dead of night, startled by a fluttering curtain, walking toward the unknown creepy sound. Out of the dark, there is a Voice that says, "Lyanna".

Ha! Cool. I do my part. We'd love to hear your thoughts in our discussion threads on those stories as you make your way through.

 

11 hours ago, The Fattest Leech said:

I often think that this 1,000 World Series was "practice" for ASOIAF and that is why we never got Avalon. He dropped 1kW for ASOIAF because the new ideas were coming just too fast. 

Or not :dunno:

Maybe. I think he's hinted that Avalon is still in the works.

But of course we know it is quite easy for GRRM to find distractions from incomplete projects. :D

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11 hours ago, JNR said:

Yes, I've always thought this strange dream reference to gore fits an impromptu C-section pretty well.  It also fits:

And puerperal fever, so often cited as if it were canonical fact... isn't a canonical fact.

I too enjoy separating canon from fanon :cheers: but that is a grievance that could easily derail this thread. Although, I guess it would be far worse if we allowed any theory to unknowingly head towards the sprawling metropolitan centers of fan fiction – even mine own. LOL

To your point, yes. I think it fits C-section better as well. Puerperal fever is a bit of an interpretive stretch.

I think "blue roses" should be sending our stethoscopes in a completely different (literary) direction, one which might entail a condition that would lead to a voice that was as soft as a whisper and might have led to complications which made a caesarean necessary.

My thoughts on that blue-flowered clue can be found in this comment (which also happens to be talking about the idea that Ned could have given Lyanna her coup de grâce).

TL;DR: Blue Roses have a well established role in both literature and science that GRRM melds together in some of his other works, and, (SPOILER ALERT!) it ain't romantic.  :devil:

 

11 hours ago, JNR said:

I have too, but the problem with religious zealots is that they sooner or later suffer from Great Disappointments.

Far be it from me to dismiss the very specific, and very divine, timelines of religious zealouts . . . well, no. That is a lie. Give me a gnomen and let them keep their promised prince. This too is an oft repeated theme in GRRM's other works.

When Jesus of Nazareth hung dying on his cross, the volcryn passed within a year of his agony, headed outward.

That's Nightflyers again. How's that for an opening line? And once you are aware of the context of it, it's the kind of irony that I can't help but love.

Have you read The Way of Cross and Dragon, JNR?

You'd like them both. Cross and Dragon has an opening dialogue that you and I might appreciate more than most. And our King o' the Board would likely find it downright annoying.

“Heresy,” he told me. The brackish waters of his pool sloshed gently.

“Another one?” I said wearily. “There are so many these days.”

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I think Jon (not Lyanna) is more the gift front he old gods just as Danaerys is a gift from the old Valyrian gods of fire. 

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On 3/31/2017 at 2:34 PM, Voice said:

The sacrifice, in my opinion, was Lyanna giving up her life to give Jon his. We see the same choice presented to another child-woman of surpassing loveliness, Dany –– who chose self-preservation via Khal Drogo over the life of her unborn child.

Thankfully for us, Lyanna chose for Jon to live. (Assuming she is Jon's mother... which we should always keep in mind is indeed an assumption on our part.)

So, with that in mind, the direwolf in Bran I AGOT mirrors Lyanna's sacrifice. In my opinion, this was an act of nature (aka, the nameless Old Gods of the wood):  The mother direwolf, facing a death caused by her own "wildness within" ("the wolf blood," as Rickard called it), chose to use her remaining strength to whelp the pups –– dying in the process.

On another thread, we've recently been exploring the parallels between the action at the 'Tower of Joy', where Ned fought the duel against the Sword of the Morning; and a similar ritual at what @Unchained has termed the 'Tent of Joy', in which we also see a duel between a Northerner, Jorah Mormont, and a Southerner, Qotho, as a necessary rite of passage for the warrior in order to gain access to a lady (paralleling Ned and Arthur in many respects, on close inspection of the text); prefacing a difficult labour in which the lives of both mother and baby are threatened and a choice must be made -- by the mother, as you correctly point out.  

I don't think the archetypal duel between Ned and Arthur, nor the putative 'C-section' which birthed Jon, occurred at Starfall, as you've suggested, since the men's and woman's respective 'battlefields' belong together. 

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A Feast for Crows - The Prophet

"Will it come to war?" asked Greydon Goodbrother as the sun was lightening the hills. "A war of brother against brother?"

"If the Drowned God wills it. No godless man may sit the Seastone Chair." The Crow's Eye will fight, that is certain. No woman could defeat him, not even Asha; women were made to fight their battles in the birthing bed. 

And it's stated quite unambiguously in the following quote that the duel and sequelae leaving a bitter taste in Ned's mouth occurred at the Tower of Joy, from which I'm inferring -- admittedly, based on my predilection for symmetry (just different symmetries to the ones you prefer sometimes :)) -- that Jon also had to be born at the same place, therefore TOJ:

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A Game of Thrones - Eddard X

"The Kingslayer is fled the city," Alyn told him. "The talk is he's ridden back to Casterly Rock to join his father. The story of how Lady Catelyn took the Imp is on every lip. I have put on extra guards, if it please you."

"It does," Ned assured him. "My daughters?"

"They have been with you every day, my lord. Sansa prays quietly, but Arya . . . " He hesitated. "She has not said a word since they brought you back. She is a fierce little thing, my lord. I have never seen such anger in a girl."

"Whatever happens," Ned said, "I want my daughters kept safe. I fear this is only the beginning."

"No harm will come to them, Lord Eddard," Alyn said. "I stake my life on that."

"Jory and the others . . . "

"I gave them over to the silent sisters, to be sent north to Winterfell. Jory would want to lie beside his grandfather."

It would have to be his grandfather, for Jory's father was buried far to the south. Martyn Cassel had perished with the rest. Ned had pulled the tower down afterward, and used its bloody stones to build eight cairns upon the ridge. It was said that Rhaegar had named that place the tower of joy, but for Ned it was a bitter memory. They had been seven against three, yet only two had lived to ride away; Eddard Stark himself and the little crannogman, Howland Reed. He did not think it omened well that he should dream that dream again after so many years.

Interestingly, in the latter pregnancy (Dany's), GRRM also toys with the suggestion of a potential C-section.  Could this be a hint as to the circumstances surrounding the former pregnancy (Lyanna's)?

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A Game of Thrones - Daenerys V

"Do as she tells you, fool," Ser Jorah shouted, "before you get us all killed."

Viserys laughed. "They can't kill us. They can't shed blood here in the sacred city … but I can." He laid the point of his sword between Daenerys's breasts and slid it downward, over the curve of her belly. "I want what I came for," he told her. "I want the crown he promised me. He bought you, but he never paid for you. Tell him I want what I bargained for, or I'm taking you back. You and the eggs both. He can keep his bloody foal. I'll cut the bastard out and leave it for him." The sword point pushed through her silks and pricked at her navel. Viserys was weeping, she saw; weeping and laughing, both at the same time, this man who had once been her brother.

When faced with the choice between her brother and herself -- Dany chose her brother's death.  In fact, I think she's responsible for the 'treason for blood' in her own prophecy -- with the blood of her brother Viserys, her unborn son Rhaego, and her husband Drogo 'blood of my blood' arguably on her hands (see Voice, unlike you, I'm not afraid to say something unpopular in less-than-coy terms! ;) ).

Then at what should have been the delivery of her son -- once again self-preservation wins the day.  Here again we have a curious C-section motif:

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A Game of Thrones - Daenerys VIII

When at last Daenerys found the strength to raise her head, she saw the crowd dispersing, the Dothraki stealing silently back to their tents and sleeping mats. Some were saddling horses and riding off. The sun had set. Fires burned throughout the khalasar, great orange blazes that crackled with fury and spit embers at the sky. She tried to rise, and agony seized her and squeezed her like a giant's fist. The breath went out of her; it was all she could do to gasp. The sound of Mirri Maz Duur's voice was like a funeral dirge. Inside the tent, the shadows whirled.

An arm went under her waist, and then Ser Jorah was lifting her off her feet. His face was sticky with blood, and Dany saw that half his ear was gone. She convulsed in his arms as the pain took her again, and heard the knight shouting for her handmaids to help him. Are they all so afraid? She knew the answer. Another pain grasped her, and Dany bit back a scream. It felt as if her son had a knife in each hand, as if he were hacking at her to cut his way out. "Doreah, curse you," Ser Jorah roared. "Come here. Fetch the birthing women."

"They will not come. They say she is accursed."

 

On 4/1/2017 at 1:38 PM, Voice said:

Ghost is that Wolfblooded Weirwood Gift, but so is Jon. A boy named "Snow" born from a dying mother in a bed of wolf blood, with a direwolf pup born from a dying mother in a snowy bed of wolf blood. The seeds of purpose are buried in such "coincidences."

Assuming there was indeed an emergency 'C-section' performed on Lyanna in order to deliver Jon -- and that Ned was the impromptu 'surgeon' ('she deserved better than a butcher'...but in the critical moment a 'butcher', i.e. Ned himself, was the only one to hand) -- then we can see an echo of that play out in the opening scene with the dead direwolf.  Specifically, Ned pulls the makeshift weapon (or 'surgical instrument') out of the direwolf's throat, following which he cleanses his hands in the 'snow' (which one can read as 'Snow' for the purposes of the current symbolic argument).  

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A Game of Thrones - Bran I

His father knelt and groped under the beast's head with his hand. He gave a yank and held it up for all to see. A foot of shattered antler, tines snapped off, all wet with blood.

A sudden silence descended over the party. The men looked at the antler uneasily, and no one dared to speak. Even Bran could sense their fear, though he did not understand.

His father tossed the antler to the side and cleansed his hands in the snow. "I'm surprised she lived long enough to whelp," he said. His voice broke the spell.

"Maybe she didn't," Jory said. "I've heard tales … maybe the bitch was already dead when the pups came."

According to this interpretation, Ned may have beheaded his sister (he pulls the antler out of the direwolf's neck where 'Ice' had formed) following which he performed an emergency 'laparotomy' as he'd 'promised'-- all very gory and bitter to have to perform on ones own relative (not to mention unethical, from most perspectives).  His dubious moral code notwithstanding, what redeems Ned, however, after he's sullied himself in his sister's blood, is reaching deep into his sister's body to pull out Jon -- the 'Snow' in a bed of wolfblood.  His hands deep in the Snow, bringing forth life, Ned is 'cleansed' of the sin.  This is the 'not dishonorable lie' by which Ned lives -- lived his life.  The moment of Jon's birth, to which Ned is surgeon and midwife, is not exclusively facilitated by Lyanna's sacrifice alone, but also born of Ned's sacrifice.  He's a loyal soldier -- willing to get his hands dirty for the sake of another (he's Littlefinger's polar opposite) and equally valiantly into the breach of the birthing bed as on another battlefield.

Note that after the decision has been made to keep the direwolves, Ned cautions the children regarding the grave longterm responsibility of adopting the motherless wolves, including the personal dangers they are to anticipate attending the adoption of this wild species and the attempted integration of the wolves into the domestic status quo at Winterfell.  One may read this as a shadow of how difficult likewise it's been for Ned having made the decision to adopt Jon and bring him home to Cat.  The 'wild species' of wolf is akin to Jon's 'bastard' status.  Additionally, as Ned observes, a voluntary association with a direwolf may result in one losing ones body parts and other more dire sacrifices.  Similarly, Ned lived with the ever-present danger of having Jon's real parentage, and the circumstances surrounding his part in that, exposed, with the risk of incurring retribution for what would very likely have been interpreted as treason (even by his 'good friend' and 'more than a brother,' the leaden-eyed, pussy-whipped, storm-swept Robert Baratheon)-- perhaps even being parted from his head for that.

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AGOT -- Bran I

Their father understood as well. "You want no pup for yourself, Jon?" he asked softly.

"The direwolf graces the banners of House Stark," Jon pointed out. "I am no Stark, Father."

Their lord father regarded Jon thoughtfully. Robb rushed into the silence he left. "I will nurse him myself, Father," he promised. "I will soak a towel with warm milk, and give him suck from that."

"Me too!" Bran echoed.

The lord weighed his sons long and carefully with his eyes. "Easy to say, and harder to do. I will not have you wasting the servants' time with this. If you want these pups, you will feed them yourselves. Is that understood?"

Bran nodded eagerly. The pup squirmed in his grasp, licked at his face with a warm tongue.

"You must train them as well," their father said. "You must train them. The kennelmaster will have nothing to do with these monsters, I promise you that [the 'kennelmaster' who wants nothing to do with unwanted 'monster' Jon is Cat!]. And the gods help you if you neglect them, or brutalize them, or train them badly. These are not dogs to beg for treats and slink off at a kick. A direwolf will rip a man's arm off his shoulder as easily as a dog will kill a rat. Are you sure you want this?"

"Yes, Father," Bran said.

"Yes," Robb agreed.

"The pups may die anyway, despite all you do."

"They won't die," Robb said. "We won't let them die."

"Keep them, then. Jory, Desmond, gather up the other pups. It's time we were back to Winterfell."

It was not until they were mounted and on their way that Bran allowed himself to taste the sweet air of victory. By then, his pup was snuggled inside his leathers, warm against him, safe for the long ride home. Bran was wondering what to name him.

Halfway across the bridge, Jon pulled up suddenly.

"What is it, Jon?" their lord father asked.

"Can't you hear it?" [Jon hears the 'silent shout' of Ghost, the same way he hears the 'silent shout' of the weirwood sapling in his dream]

Bran could hear the wind in the trees, the clatter of their hooves on the ironwood planks, the whimpering of his hungry pup, but Jon was listening to something else.

"There," Jon said. He swung his horse around and galloped back across the bridge. They watched him dismount where the direwolf lay dead in the snow, watched him kneel. A moment later he was riding back to them, smiling.

In a curious reversal of the usual tableau of the Kings of Winter and their direwolves, in which it's presumed the direwolf kneels at the foot of his master; Jon kneels at the foot of the direwolf (which finds a mirror image in the Winterfell heart tree to which the direwolves refer as the 'foot of the old white one'...you may be right about Lyanna's presence being in the tree).  Kneeling is a reverent gesture, which is the proper pose to adopt when praying at the foot of a weirwood (e.g. Theon, Arya, Sam) -- whereafter the 'weirwood gift', as you've termed it, is bestowed; and we see Jon smiling for the first time.

A final 'technical' consideration:

I think the 'surgical incision' chosen for this 'laparotomy' by midwife-surgeon Ned, with his 'razor-sharp' (like a scalpel) Valyrian steel blade, was a vertical, midline abdominal incision, since Lyanna was spattered in 'gore', and 'gore' as a verb has the connotation of an animal using its horn to unzip the belly in that fashion, in addition to the sexual/pregnancy/childbirth connotations.  For example here:

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A Feast for Crows - Cersei VII

But it was no good. She could not feel it, whatever Robert felt on the nights he took her. There was no pleasure in it, not for her. For Taena, yes. Her nipples were two black diamonds, her sex slick and steamy. Robert would have loved you, for an hour. The queen slid a finger into that Myrish swamp, then another, moving them in and out, but once he spent himself inside you, he would have been hard-pressed to recall your name.

She wanted to see if it would be as easy with a woman as it had always been with Robert. Ten thousand of your children perished in my palm, Your Grace, she thought, slipping a third finger into Myr. Whilst you snored, I would lick your sons off my face and fingers one by one, all those pale sticky princes. You claimed your rights, my lord, but in the darkness I would eat your heirs. Taena gave a shudder. She gasped some words in a foreign tongue, then shuddered again and arched her back and screamed. She sounds as if she is being gored, the queen thought. For a moment she let herself imagine that her fingers were a bore's tusks, ripping the Myrish woman apart from groin to throat.

 

23 hours ago, JNR said:
On 4/2/2017 at 2:19 PM, Voice said:

The slim, sad girl who wore a crown of pale blue roses and a white gown spattered with gore could only be Lyanna.

Yes, I've always thought this strange dream reference to gore fits an impromptu C-section pretty well.

Yes, as I noted above 'gore' as a verb instead of a noun evokes horns and the dead direwolf impaled with the antler, who was nevertheless delivered of healthy pups.

Edited by ravenous reader

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Nice work @ravenous reader Just to add to the c-section discussion, the term c-section (as many may know) means one of two things; the name of Julius Caesar and how he was supposedly born, and/or  Lex Caesarea which means imperial law, or, royal law.

Also, I can't help but notice the possible play on words with c-section and sea section... because Jon is currently "under the sea" while at the wall and north of it. 

Now, if it is derived from Julius Caesar (or if GRRM chose this meaning for his story), then we also have JC (that means Julius Caesar, not Jesus Christ;) (and his holy Ghost)), then we also have other JC parallels as @Lost Melnibonean described in this post here, which I pasted below:

  • The allusions to Shakespear's Julius Caesar are too strong to ignore...

    Just as Wick Whittlestick barely grazed Jon's neck with the first dagger, Casca was the first to cut Ceaser with a glancing cut to the neck. Just as Caesar caught Casca by the arm, Jon caught Wick's wrist. Just as Wick retreated and put his arms up, Casca was frighted and shouted for help. (That Jon understood this to mean that Wick was denying involvement was very curious. I'm not sure what to make of that other than he might have been mistaken.) That Bowen Marsh wept and claimed to be doing it for the Watch clearly alluded to Brutus...

    "Let's kill him boldly, but not wrathfully; Let's carve him as a dish fit for the gods, Not hew him as a carcass fit for hounds:"

    And Brutus expected his fellow Romans to be glad, going so far as to persuade his fellow conspirators to ignore Marcus Antonius. Given the strong allusion to the assassination of Julius Caesar I'm assuming that Bowen will expect his brothers to be glad. I don't think he has a plan. And much like Brutus was forced to flee Rome in short order I think Bowen is in a very, very tight spot, because Tormund is set to play the role of Marcus Antonius. I would expect him to whip the wildings into a frenzy against Marsh and the other conspirators. 

     

     

Edited by The Fattest Leech
clarified a word

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2 hours ago, The Fattest Leech said:

Nice work @ravenous reader Just to add to the c-section discussion, the term c-section (as many may know) means one of two things; the name of Julius Caesar and how he was supposedly born, and/or  Lex Caesarea which means imperial law, or, royal law.

Also, I can't help but notice the possible play on words with c-section and sea section... because Jon is currently "under the sea" while at the wall and north of it. 

Now, if it is derived from Julius Caesar (or if GRRM chose this meaning for his story), then we also have JC (that means Julius Caesar, not Jesus Christ;) (and his holy Ghost)), then we also have other JC parallels as @Lost Melnibonean described in this post here, which I pasted below:

  • The allusions to Shakespear's Julius Caesar are too strong to ignore...

    Just as Wick Whittlestick barely grazed Jon's neck with the first dagger, Casca was the first to cut Ceaser with a glancing cut to the neck. Just as Caesar caught Casca by the arm, Jon caught Wick's wrist. Just as Wick retreated and put his arms up, Casca was frighted and shouted for help. (That Jon understood this to mean that Wick was denying involvement was very curious. I'm not sure what to make of that other than he might have been mistaken.) That Bowen Marsh wept and claimed to be doing it for the Watch clearly alluded to Brutus...

    "Let's kill him boldly, but not wrathfully; Let's carve him as a dish fit for the gods, Not hew him as a carcass fit for hounds:"

    And Brutus expected his fellow Romans to be glad, going so far as to persuade his fellow conspirators to ignore Marcus Antonius. Given the strong allusion to the assassination of Julius Caesar I'm assuming that Bowen will expect his brothers to be glad. I don't think he has a plan. And much like Brutus was forced to flee Rome in short order I think Bowen is in a very, very tight spot, because Tormund is set to play the role of Marcus Antonius. I would expect him to whip the wildings into a frenzy against Marsh and the other conspirators. 

     

     

You know, I read @ravenous reader's amazing post and planed on responding with a post that involved Shakespare, among other things.  Then I got to my computer and found you beat me to it.  I find myself thinking of his work more and more as I read ASoIaF.  I have not read Julius in years, but you are right there are a ton of parallels.  Another one that I may be imagining, if Jon skinchanges Ghost, who is symbolically interchangable with the Old Gods, upon death he would be a dish for the gods as well as a carcass fit for hounds per the Rat Cook line of thinking.

 

@Voice, you almost had me convinced Jon was born from a C-section before I got distracted from this post, but now that I am taking a second look at the posts with the last few and thought about it myself, I am 100% on board.  In fact I think it is related to a major theme running through the novels.  I made that reply about antlers falling off to give you a hard time on behalf of fellow grey sheep of westros.org (although I have issues with your rebuttal involving tropical and maybe desert deer appying to antlers from an animal living in a place known as The North but that is beside the point).  Even though we cannot break out of our head canon, I think we can work together.  You have certainly found something here.  I want to connect this to a few things in the books and one that probably is only in my head.    

 

I will start with the one that I am likely dreaming into existence.  The first time I read Macbeth, I was stuck by how much he, feeling safe from a prophecy about men who are born from women only to be killed by someone bore from C-section, sounded like a product of another of GRRM's muses, namely the Witch King of Angmar.  He had a protective prophecy about not being able to be killed by a man only to be killed by a woman.  We have caught the author referencing Macbeth when the trees turned into soldiers to attack Asha in her castle, and Tolkien references are everywhere (see The Hightower or Jon for details).  I would love for a statement/prophecy about whatever winds up being the big bad at the end only to killed by a woman (Dany) and a man not born from a woman (Jon).  On a side note, Macbeth is a usurper led by a trickster to steal the throne who winds up dead, and the witch king was a power hungry king tricked by a magic user.  That fits what we have been discussing Azor Ahai being recently. Is AA being a duped fool heretic enough to satisfy?  

 

Now, I am ready for the actual things in the books.  In addition to the battle sites for a woman, tents and towers of Joy smelling of death and C-sections, there are other cases that fit aspects of the idea as laid out two posts ago by Ravenous.  The obvious one would be Brandon fighting Littlefinger for Catelyn.  Afterwards, the loser of the fight rather than the woman gets his navel cut open by a Stark sword in another variation on the theme by our composer/author.  Another may be the battle between the dragonknight and Ser Morgil (sounds like a LotR villian name doesn't it?), who was more than likely a representative of Aemon's brother against him in a fight over a woman.  Euron and Vic have a sibling fight over Vic's wife.  Vic feels he has to kill her over it.  

 

If this is in fact a major running theme there is a question that must be asked of it.  How did this type of thing happen in the time around the first long night?  LmL would probably say that we need to show it happening in the sky, but I am not ready to do that so I am not going to tag him.  I may have a clue in one last example, the Dance of Dragons prologue which I think relates to @Crowfood's Daughter family feud stuff.  In that chapter, we see a skinchanger fight a father figure instead of a brother type over a wolf in a mind battle.  Then he fights a woman in another for her body.  Combine the two and you get a psychic battle over a wolf woman with a family member.  A running theme in that chapter is that the ones you kill haunt you either by being in your head or watching you through weirwood magic.  Apart from being yet another ingenious way to make a literary theme a quality of the universe's magic, that is exactly what is happening to Ned having killed Lyanna through the means of her being in Winterfell's heart tree as Voice las out here.                               

 

   

 

 

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On 2017-04-04 at 2:00 PM, JNR said:

Yes, I've always thought this strange dream reference to gore fits an impromptu C-section pretty well.

 I can go with that explanation as well.  It would explain much of Ned's guilt and shame concerning Lyanna.

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Off on a tangent I know but if you want to invoke Shakespeare the name of the Nights King stricken from the record was probably MacBeth

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7 hours ago, LynnS said:

 I can go with that explanation as well.  It would explain much of Ned's guilt and shame concerning Lyanna.

If Ned gave her the C-section, true... but if I had to guess, it was Arthur Dayne who did that. 

I remember when I proposed this idea of a C-section about a year ago, over on the House of Black and White, I wasn't sure of the KG behind it.  Since then I've settled on Dayne as more likely than other candidates for various reasons.

Assuming she had a C-section at all, which remains complete speculation on my part.

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1 hour ago, JNR said:

If Ned gave her the C-section, true... but if I had to guess, it was Arthur Dayne who did that. 

I remember when I proposed this idea of a C-section about a year ago, over on the House of Black and White, I wasn't sure of the KG behind it.  Since then I've settled on Dayne as more likely than other candidates for various reasons.

Assuming she had a C-section at all, which remains complete speculation on my part.

Possibly, but I'm staying with the Robert's celebration of his victory of the Battles of Summerhall and the symbolism of banners hanging from the rafters; the white fawns spattered with blood and the sleeping lion  nearly torn in two beside it,  as Jon's birth date and Lyanna's death.  I think that puts Ned somewhere in the vicinity of the Quiet Isle where noble ladies sometimes go to give birth.  It brings to mind Clegane digging graves on the hill and Robert's lament that she should have been buried in the open somewhere.   The Elder Brother's lament that at one time they didn't always have brothers with the healing skills.  I think it's likely that Ned performed the C-section and his butcher comment is self-recrimination as well as leveling an accusation at Robert.  Also bearing in mind that Ned's ghost tells Bran something about Jon; something even more disturbing than his crow and tree dreams.  

I just can't see Arthur Dayne doing anything other than protecting the heir with his life.  Something that Ned would hold in high esteem along with protecting Jon at Starfall.  This is the only location we can actually place Jon given Edric Dayne's story of Wylla.  I think it likely that Walys Flowers was with Lyanna; since she was fond of him and trusted by the Starks and that he took Jon south into hiding on Ned's orders.   He appears again as Haldon Halfmaester.  Walys being the son of a maester and a noble woman, so half a maester.

I think Ned's fight with Robert was about killing children and he was ordered to kill the child that was being guarded at ToJ which in the end he refused to do; sending Aegon into hiding with Walys Flowers and Ashara Dayne in exchange for Jon. 

Being born on the Quiet Isle amidst the saltpans and smoking beehives puts Jon on target for one of the prophecies and given that the brothers are sworn to silence; not much about Lyanna's whereabouts or what transpired would leak out.

Of course, all speculation on my part.            

Edited by LynnS

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1 hour ago, JNR said:

If Ned gave her the C-section, true... but if I had to guess, it was Arthur Dayne who did that. 

I remember when I proposed this idea of a C-section about a year ago, over on the House of Black and White, I wasn't sure of the KG behind it.  Since then I've settled on Dayne as more likely than other candidates for various reasons.

Assuming she had a C-section at all, which remains complete speculation on my part.

Congratulations.  It's a great idea.

Dayne is a good candidate for 'surgeon' being ambidextrous!  

44 minutes ago, LynnS said:

symbolism of banners hanging from the rafters; the white fawns spattered with blood and the sleeping lion  nearly torn in two beside it,  as Jon's birth date and Lyanna's death. 

I still can't see the 'lion symbolism' in conjunction with Jon!

44 minutes ago, LynnS said:

I just can't see Arthur Dayne doing anything other than protecting the heir with his life.  Something that Ned would hold in high esteem along with protecting Jon at Starfall.  This is the only location we can actually place Jon given Edric Dayne's story of Wylla.  I think it likely that Walys Flowers was with Lyanna; since she was fond of him and trusted by the Starks and that he took Jon south into hiding on Ned's orders.   He appears again as Haldon Halfmaester.  Walys being the son of a maester and a noble woman, so half a maester.

I think Ned's fight with Robert was about killing children and he was ordered to kill the child that was being guarded at ToJ which in the end he refused to do; sending Aegon into hiding with Walys Flowers and Ashara Dayne in exchange for Jon. 

There is a clear parallel between the 'tower of joy' and the 'tent of joy' with the ritualized duel taking place outside, together with the threatened and equally bloody pregnancy taking place inside.  I think the male and female 'battlefields' belong together symbolically, so if Ned engaged in the pivotal 'ouroboros' duel vs. the Sword of the Morning at the Tower of Joy, then I don't think it's likely that no pregnant Lyanna awaited within.  That would be like Jorah and Qotho duelling outside the tent with Dany giving birth elsewhere!  What would be the point?

Edited by ravenous reader

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@JNR:  I tend to play with the symbolism rather than stick to established canon, so that's why I need people like you keeping me honest!

On the other hand, I also believe the symbolism doesn't lie -- whereas GRRM is much more likely to indulge in misdirection in the World Book and putting 'false facts' into people's mouths, etc., which paradoxically renders less symbolic readings less, not more, reliable.

Did you read my post above in which I explore some symbolic parallels (including C-section motifs) in both the 'tower of joy' and 'tent of joy' (as Unchained has termed it) scenes?

Edited by ravenous reader

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2 hours ago, ravenous reader said:

I also believe the symbolism doesn't lie

A very popular view, I know, and one that LmL endorses too.  

I'm rarely clear on symbolism.  For instance, if someone says Quentyn is a sun that rose in the west and set in the east, that by itself just makes sense.  But if that person goes on to say this is connected to Khal Drogo somehow returning from the dead, because

Quote

"When will he be as he was?" Dany demanded.

"When the sun rises in the west and sets in the east," said Mirri Maz Duur.

...I don't really know if that person is right or wrong.  Because I just don't know if GRRM had that symbolism in mind or not when he wrote AGOT.

2 hours ago, ravenous reader said:

GRRM is much more likely to indulge in misdirection in the World Book and putting 'false facts' into people's mouths

This I'm sure of, because if (for instance) four maesters cited in the World book have four completely different ideas on a subject, at least three are wrong, and maybe all of them are wrong.  Oh, and GRRM told us outright in an interview that we don't know what to believe in that book.

2 hours ago, ravenous reader said:

Did you read my post above in which I explore some symbolic parallels (including C-section motifs) in both the 'tower of joy' and 'tent of joy' (as Unchained has termed it) scenes?

Yes.  I am as usual uncertain about the symbolism, but re the scalpel-sharpness of Ice, this also needs pointing out:

Quote

With Dawn he tapped him on the shoulder; the pale blade was so sharp that even that light touch cut through Jaime's tunic, so he bled anew.

I think either Ice or Dawn would serve admirably in this context, but in both scenarios Lyanna would have suffered from an incompetent physician.

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On 26/03/2017 at 8:00 PM, Voice said:

[...] TL;DR:  So, I've whittled this theory down to the essentials:  

 

1. Lyanna's consciousness connected to Winterfell's heart tree as its roots reached her crypt, as it had always reached all Starks.

2. The mother direwolf in Bran I AGOT was Lyanna's, and she sent it to reactivate A Gift from the Old Gods. (Ghost is the proof.)

3. This reactivated the gift in its entirety for the entire current generation of youngsters who carry the blood of Winterfell. (One might even be able to make a case for Theon also being influenced by this gift, but I'll save that for another day.)

And, this explains why they exhibit A Gift from Old Gods so completely and absolutely, while, for the rest of Westeros, the gift emerges in but 0.1% to 0.001% of the population (in Essos, I would argue the ratio of the population bearing A Gift from the Old Gods is zero percent).

I'm more inclined to think that the Starks got so important to the North because their genetics made them more likely to be skinchangers and greenseers. But they don't marry among themselves, so that the genetics should have been long diluted. Something about Winterfell would actually be a much more rational explanation for the persistent importance of the Starks.

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On 4/5/2017 at 10:04 AM, Sea Dragon said:

I think Jon (not Lyanna) is more the gift front he old gods just as Danaerys is a gift from the old Valyrian gods of fire. 

Most definitely. Jon is the gift.

And I could not agree more that Jon stands in stark contrast with Dany, who, as you say, is a gift from the Old Valyrian gods of fire.

Dany = Valyrian Fire

Jon = Old Gods

And the weirwoods are not fond of fire.

But this begs the question, from whence did the Old Gods gift of "Jon Snow" originate?

Robb and Sansa and Arya and Bran and Rickon are all Starks with direwolves. And as I've stated in the OP, all five of them are wargs. One is even a greenseer.

They are all very Old Gods-y, and displaying far greater weirwood influence than is normal, even by Bloodraven's standards (See BR's quote and the other works/ratios cited in the OP).

So why does Jon Snow seem to be even more of an avatar of the Old Gods than his "half-siblings"?

The answer is Ghost. Ghost is different from his siblings, and Lyanna is the reason Ghost is albino.

As the night grows long, and shadows emerge from the wood, here bleeds a bastard at the end of the world, with a weirwood ghost.

Can that be mere happenstance?

If not, the origin and reason comes back to Lyanna, assuming she is Jon's mother, and the presence of Jon's mother in Winterfell's crypts.

Choices matter, and Lyanna chose to be buried there, you will recall.

"She was more beautiful than that," the king said after a silence. His eyes lingered on Lyanna's face, as if he could will her back to life. Finally he rose, made awkward by his weight. "Ah, damn it, Ned, did you have to bury her in a place like this?" His voice was hoarse with remembered grief. "She deserved more than darkness …"

"She was a Stark of Winterfell," Ned said quietly. "This is her place."

"She should be on a hill somewhere, under a fruit tree, with the sun and clouds above her and the rain to wash her clean."

"I was with her when she died," Ned reminded the king. "She wanted to come home, to rest beside Brandon and Father." He could hear her still at times. Promise me, she had cried, in a room that smelled of blood and roses. Promise me, Ned. The fever had taken her strength and her voice had been faint as a whisper, but when he gave her his word, the fear had gone out of his sister's eyes. Ned remembered the way she had smiled then, how tightly her fingers had clutched his as she gave up her hold on life, the rose petals spilling from her palm, dead and black. After that he remembered nothing. They had found him still holding her body, silent with grief. The little crannogman, Howland Reed, had taken her hand from his. Ned could recall none of it. "I bring her flowers when I can," he said. "Lyanna was … fond of flowers."

I think Lyanna's choices were more heavily influenced than the Old Gods than Ned's, around the time of her death. These choices need not be conscious of spiritual duty. I think what makes them interesting is that they seem to fulfill spiritual duties regardless of intent.

It seems the Old Gods are as easy to ignore and as easy to escape as gravity itself.

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5 minutes ago, Voice said:

As the night grows long, and shadows emerge from the wood, here bleeds a bastard at the end of the world, with a weirwood ghost.

Can that be mere happenstance?

Uh-huh...

6 minutes ago, Voice said:

These choices need not be conscious of spiritual duty. I think what makes them interesting is that they seem to fulfill spiritual duties regardless of intent.

It seems the Old Gods are as easy to ignore and as easy to escape as gravity itself.

And you say you're not elusive...

hmmmmmm.....

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On 4/5/2017 at 10:15 AM, ravenous reader said:

On another thread, we've recently been exploring the parallels between the action at the 'Tower of Joy', where Ned fought the duel against the Sword of the Morning; and a similar ritual at what @Unchained has termed the 'Tent of Joy', in which we also see a duel between a Northerner, Jorah Mormont, and a Southerner, Qotho, as a necessary rite of passage for the warrior in order to gain access to a lady (paralleling Ned and Arthur in many respects, on close inspection of the text); prefacing a difficult labour in which the lives of both mother and baby are threatened and a choice must be made -- by the mother, as you correctly point out.  

I don't think the archetypal duel between Ned and Arthur, nor the putative 'C-section' which birthed Jon, occurred at Starfall, as you've suggested, since the men's and woman's respective 'battlefields' belong together. 

I can only encourage you in your own, perspective and interpretation.

Personally, I think people have blown the "Tent of Joy" parallel way out of proportion, as there are many incongruities that tend to be glossed over. I'm all for parallels (hence this thread, lol), but rebuttals are far more meaningful and constructive when they are based on objective canon rather than subjective interpretations of canon.

To each his/her own, though. It is nonetheless an interesting parallel, if it is ever revealed that Lyanna gave birth at the tower of joy. Given that Jon is spoken of as a "milk brother" by lords at Starfall, I think we have more canonical reason to assume that is the place of Jon's birth that we do for a crumbling tower in the middle of nowhere.

As it stands, the tower of joy is a Rorschach upon which people often cast their own pet theories.

 

On 4/5/2017 at 10:15 AM, ravenous reader said:

Yes, as I noted above 'gore' as a verb instead of a noun evokes horns and the dead direwolf impaled with the antler, who was nevertheless delivered of healthy pups.

Most definitely. :cheers:

And we have many canonical examples of swords being spoken of as if they were horns, claws, teeth, cocks, and even needles.

In this way, the blade that bloodied Lyanna's womb might even be the blade that took her virginity. Impossible to say of course, but the motif certainly exists and GRRM has used it repeatedly.

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On 4/1/2017 at 8:34 PM, Seams said:

We don't get that with Ghost, because he's an animal and also silent. But the way the wolf leads Jon, defends him, gets lost when he meets Ygritte, etc. is like a symbolic mother / Lyanna presence

 

I don't see Lyanna in Ghost unless Howland is involved in some crazy bastard weirwood, old powers stuff. Still, what you had to say there reminds me of Bran while climbing in the godswood...

Quote

He raced across the godswood, taking the long way around to avoid the pool where the heart tree grew. The heart tree had always frightened him; trees ought not have eyes, Bran thought, or leaves that looked like hands. His wolf came sprinting at his heels. “You stay here,” he told him at the base of the sentinel tree near the armory wall. “Lie down. That’s right. Now stay.” The wolf did as he was told. Bran scratched him behind the ears, then turned away, jumped, grabbed a low branch, and pulled himself up. He was halfway up the tree, moving easily from limb to limb, when the wolf got to his feet and began to howl. Bran looked back down. His wolf fell silent, staring up at him through slitted yellow eyes. A strange chill went through him. He began to climb again. Once more the wolf howled. “Quiet,” he yelled. “Sit down. Stay. You’re worse than Mother.” The howling chased him all the way up the tree, until finally he jumped off onto the armory roof and out of sight.

 

Might be it's the old gods/third eye powers that are the underground players.

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3 minutes ago, Voice said:

I can only encourage you in your own, perspective and interpretation.

Thanks for the endorsement.

3 minutes ago, Voice said:

Personally, I think people have blown the "Tent of Joy" parallel way out of proportion, as there are many incongruities that tend to be glossed over.

There are always 'incongruities to be glossed over', even in your own persnickety nomenclature.

4 minutes ago, Voice said:

Given that Jon is spoken of as a "milk brother" by lords at Starfall, I think we have more canonical reason to assume that is the place of Jon's birth that we do for a crumbling tower in the middle of nowhere.

That doesn't necessarily rule out Jon having been taken there following his birth.

5 minutes ago, Voice said:

As it stands, the tower of joy is a Rorschach upon which people often cast their own pet theories.

And you are not subject to this fallacy, naturally.  ;)

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