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Lyanna Stark: A Gift from Old Gods

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On 4/5/2017 at 9:09 PM, Unchained said:

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.

Bingo. And while I sincerely hope Jon is not a sacrificial lamb, he sure has katharmoi written all over him. And uncomfortable but extremely likely outcome, if I am right about the miasma.

 

On 4/5/2017 at 9:09 PM, Unchained said:

 

@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.    

:cheers:

Thank you for having an open mind. Few things are more valuable in the forum-verse. 

I went a bit long on the antler topic, so I'll spoilertag it here, and continue on to your points. :)
 

Spoiler

 

Regarding the antlers, it's true that it is more common in warmer climates, but it is not isolated to them. I should have explained in my first stag-post that I was speaking of seasoned=OLD bucks who have lost their potency. I've sort of taken that meaning for granted over the years, as that is what a "stag" truly is. The term has been applied (mistakenly) to bachelors looking for women, but the animal term traditionally applied to bucks who no longer shed their antlers. That variety is as common in cold climates as it is in warm climates. Bucks that retain their antlers in warmer climates may not, technically speaking, be "stags," as the lack of shed comes from weather rather than from permanently reduced testosterone.

Anyhoo, I should have clarified the difference between a "stag" and a "buck" because those are not exactly everyday terms for most people, today. The slang usage of "stag" as a bachelor has since been applied to all "bucks," in our common tongue. :)

In hunter-speak, a "crowned stag" denotes a male deer/elk who cannot sire children but has not yet shattered its antlers. I have absolutely no idea if GRRM was familiar with this use of the term when he wrote of the Baratheons, but it definitely fits. Symbolically, we have three adult males of House Baratheon. One is a cuckold who believes himself the father of another man's children, one has a single trueborn daughter that Val refers to as "the dead girl" due to her disease (and whose siblings are shadowbabies), and the third was a homosexual who was unable to produce any children of his own prior to his early death. 

And beyond that, in the same book we are introduced to the "Crowned Stag," a tired old king who is long past his prime, we are introduced to another archaic term to end him, the mystical "white hart." Robert went chasing his youth and wound up impaled by a pig.

 

 

I don't want to say we all need to start thinking of Lyanna as having died from having a Caesarean, but it is definitely an angle we should consider with more than a passing thought. Blood is normal for a birth. A gore-spattered dress is not.

It might be that Jon was literally "born with the dead."

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."

"Born with the dead," another man put in. "Worse luck."

 

Now, if we consider how crude a medieval Caesarean would be, we must consider another very troubling idea. Lyanna would not have lived very long after it was done...

Which is why, before modern medicine, C-sections were typically only performed on the dead.

In other words, the phrase uttered when the wolf pups are found, "born with the dead," is quite synonymous with pre-modern Caesareans.

I might also note, for whoever might not be familiar with the miasma theory I link way too often, that there is a very prominent mythological hero who was born from this method, and it wasn't Julius Caesar. In the theory, it all connects to a very real man who was named John Snow, as it happens. But I am way off topic already and have linked that theory quite enough. :D

 

On 4/5/2017 at 9:09 PM, Unchained said:

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?  

Great stuff. :cheers:  I very much like, and agree, with most of it. :D

But...

I think the "big bad boy" of ASOIAF would be quite obvious to most readers, if it were not hidden in the body of a beautiful young girl who always says she does not understand the ways of war.

 

On 4/5/2017 at 9:09 PM, Unchained said:

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.  

There are many more where those came from, and some are far more feminine. First, there are the women who have died in childbirth. Tyrion and Dany were both born under such circumstances. Wetnurses exist as a constant reminder of this danger. If the mother dies, the heirs of the house still need milk.

We also have the reversals of fortune. Those mothers who live when their newborn does not: Ashara and Dany. Rather than have their pups cut out of them, Dany chose for her child to die. Ashara seems to have been saddened by her baby's death, so she threw herself from the tip of a sword, named the Palestone Sword.

Then, we have another ouroboros element:  A bloody blade takes a woman's virginity...

Brandon was never shy about taking what he wanted. I am old now, a dried-up thing, too long a widow, but I still remember the look of my maiden’s blood on his cock the night he claimed me. I think Brandon liked the sight as well. A bloody sword is a beautiful thing, yes. It hurt, but it was a sweet pain.

Thus, for women in ASOIAF who have had a C-section, a "bloody sword" both began their reproductive life, and ended it.

 

On 4/5/2017 at 9:09 PM, Unchained said:

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.                              

 

:cheers:  You are seeing what I am seeing.

And feel free to tag LmL if you'd like. He'll no doubt be borrowing from our conversation for some future podcast regardless. LOL

And before this next bit ends up on one of his episodes, I'd like to claim it (again), here.:commie: This quote really ties it all together:

"No," Ned said with sadness in his voice. "Now it ends." As they came together in a rush of steel and shadow, he could hear Lyanna screaming. "Eddard!" she called. A storm of rose petals blew across a blood-streaked sky, as blue as the eyes of death.

Pleading with him for promises. Screaming, and calling "Eddard!" Her voice becoming faint as a whisper. Her smile, tremulous, as she gives up her hold on life. Ned cannot bear to remember any of it... yet he holds her hand.

What can't Ned bear to remember, exactly?

And what led Lyanna to an early grave?

These two questions share the same answer:  Her wolf blood.

I think the wolf blood, in Ned's dream, Lyanna's wolf blood, streaked the sky. And I think this man who put no faith in signs saw, 14 years before its arrival, the Red Comet. I think he saw what more superstitious men might called a prophecy. And I think this old dream of Ned's foretold that the Others (the blue eyes of death) would follow the "blood"-streaked sky.

I think this dream has haunted Ned, ever since Jon Snow's birth, because Jon is the one who was destined to meet them. A Weirwood Ghost, at the end of the world.

Westeros needs your absolution, bastard.

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22 hours ago, LynnS said:

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

Much and more, but not all, in my opinion.

If Ned cut Jon from Lyanna's womb, how would that dishonor Catelyn in the sight of gods and men?

And why would Ned pray to the Old Gods for his lady wife to find it in her to forgive?

 

20 hours ago, Black Crow said:

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

And along that tangent, I agree. :cheers: I've long held that asoiaf is a tragedy.

But, I have to say, that it is a tragedy far older than MacBeth.

 

14 hours 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.

Really? While I love the symbolism of Dawn bringing a rising Son from darkness and death, I'm surprised you would pick Arthur. If Arthur cut Jon from Lyanna's womb, the showdown at the tower of joy would seem to make even less sense. And that's saying something!

 

10 hours ago, JNR said:

Well, we'll see if it has any truth to it when TWOW is out.  Hopefully it does, and hopefully GRRM was right and the book will be out this year.

I won't quote Old Nan, but I'm thinking it. LOL

 

10 hours ago, JNR said:

Meanwhile, as Lynn S points out, it isn't even really established in the canon:

1) Where Lyanna was when she died

2) Whether she gave birth to Jon

3) Whether the KG were with her at that time

Yup.

But I'd like to respectfully request that we assume Lyanna is Jon's mother for the sake of discussion of this OP. The location and company surrounding her death is of no consequence for this discussion, even if I agree with your point.

 

10 hours ago, JNR said:

On the show, I think Lyanna's firmly established as the mother -- the camera fade from her baby's face to Jon's face being pretty definitive -- but I remain very unclear what D&D's intentions are re the father.  Because if they just wanted to reveal RLJ, they could have revealed RLJ... and instead, they made sure Lyanna's whisper to Ned was inaudible (and deliberately not rendered in the closed captioning). 

I have to laugh at the people from Reddit who listened to it with the volume cranked fifty times.  The script probably says something like this:
 

And my guess is there's a reason for that.

Again we agree, but I'd ask that we please leave discussion of the show for another thread.

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7 hours ago, JNR said:

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.

A favorite topic of mine, even if a bit tangential. :cheers:

I don't think it is any mistake that Arthur's Dawn is as big as Ned's Ice, but far more ice-like in terms of composition. I've proposed that the original Ice became Dawn.

And it should be noted that both Ned's Ice and Arthur's Dawn seem to share some qualities with another very sharp longsword:

1. The Other slid forward on silent feet. In its hand was a longsword like none that Will had ever seen. No human metal had gone into the forging of that blade. It was alive with moonlight, translucent, a shard of crystal so thin that it seemed almost to vanish when seen edge-on. There was a faint blue shimmer to the thing, a ghost-light that played around its edges, and somehow Will knew it was sharper than any razor.

2. "And now it begins," said Ser Arthur Dayne, the Sword of the Morning. He unsheathed Dawn and held it with both hands. The blade was pale as milkglass, alive with light.

3. Ser Ilyn drew a two-handed greatsword from the scabbard on his back. As he lifted the blade above his head, sunlight seemed to ripple and dance down the dark metal, glinting off an edge sharper than any razor. Ice, she thought, he has Ice! Her tears streamed down her face, blinding her.

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5 hours ago, leonardof said:

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.

 

Mmhmm. I stated as much in the OP:

 

On 3/26/2017 at 4:00 PM, Voice said:

It seems as though 100% of the Kings of Winter were also wargs, unless people were lying when sculpting all those dead Starks with direwolves at their feet. As it happens, I don't think those stonemasons were lying... at least, not until 200 years ago.

So, crackpot alert, I'm thinking Starks once had a far greater concentration of weirwood influence than other First Men families. I have a hunch that their Godswood was always and ever inhabited by a Stark Greenseer. And, I think that this is what the "There must always be a Stark in Winterfell" mantra is all about.

 

5 hours ago, leonardof said:

But they don't marry among themselves, so that the genetics should have been long diluted.

You may want to double check that... Ned's parents were cousins.

http://awoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/Eddard_Stark#Family

 

5 hours ago, leonardof said:

Something about Winterfell would actually be a much more rational explanation for the persistent importance of the Starks.

 

Also addressed in the OP:

 

On 3/26/2017 at 4:00 PM, Voice said:

We have a GINORMOUS concentration of this influence in the current generation of youngsters from Winterfell. According to GRRM, 6/6 are wargs, although their "amount of control varies widely".

[snip]

So, crackpot alert, I'm thinking Starks once had a far greater concentration of weirwood influence than other First Men families. I have a hunch that their Godswood was always and ever inhabited by a Stark Greenseer. And, I think that this is what the "There must always be a Stark in Winterfell" mantra is all about.

 

 

 

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5 hours ago, ravenous reader said:

Uh-huh...

And you say you're not elusive...

hmmmmmm.....

LOL! You've caught me again!

I'll just stop denying it now. :leaving:

 

5 hours ago, aDanceWithFlagons said:

I don't see Lyanna in Ghost unless Howland is involved in some crazy bastard weirwood, old powers stuff.

Hi Flagons :cheers:

There can be no doubt Howland is neck-deep in crazy bastard weirwood, old powers stuff. The dude is the one and only man in the series to have visited the Isle of Faces.

 

5 hours ago, aDanceWithFlagons said:

Still, what you had to say there reminds me of Bran while climbing in the godswood...

Regarding this, but not really your quote, I feel compelled to point out that it should not surprise us that Bran climbs with pockets full of corn.

He is the winged wolf, and winged animals are at home in high places like tree branches.

Now, if in the dialect of Crannogmen, Bran is the "winged wolf," Lyanna is the "she-wolf," and Ned is the "quiet wolf" . . . what sort of wolf do you think the Jon would be in the eyes of Howland, Meera, and Jojen?

He's the weirwood ghost wolf.

Silent and brooding. There is little his eyes do not see.

And, just as it should not surprise us that Bran is wont to climb and fly, so too should it not surprise us that Jon is drawn to the roots of the crypts. It's where ghosts, direwolves, and weirwoods unite.

 

5 hours ago, aDanceWithFlagons said:

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

Can a force of nature be a player?

When ice and trees have eyes and consciousness... yes.

And I quite agree they be underground. Jon is drawn to her there. The roots of Winterfell.

This story is not about First Men, Andals, and Dragonspawn. They are but pawns in a game. The Song is about a living land with a heart in conflict with itself.

As Dany's dragons eat little girls, Jon will be treating with ghosts.

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  1.    
    1 hour ago, Voice said:

    Much and more, but not all, in my opinion.

    If Ned cut Jon from Lyanna's womb, how would that dishonor Catelyn in the sight of gods and men?

    And why would Ned pray to the Old Gods for his lady wife to find it in her to forgive?

    I'm not even sure that Ned did the C-section.  If Lyanna died on the Quiet Isle, it's possible that her surgeon really was a butcher by trade.  

  2. Ned dishonors himself in the eyes of men and gods by lying about Jon.  As Bran tells us, you cannot lie to the old gods.  He dishonors his wife by telling the lie that Jon is younger than Robb when the age difference would be plain for anyone to see including his wife and he doesn't put Jon aside as convention should dictate.   He prays for forgiveness because he maintains the lie, as promised, because some things are too dangerous to tell even to your loved ones. 

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5 hours ago, ravenous reader said:

Thanks for the endorsement.

Unique perspectives are what make forums strong. :cheers:

 

5 hours ago, ravenous reader said:

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

Sure. But you were arguing against Starfall based on 1:1 comparison of selective interpretations. I.e., there was a fight occurring outside of the tent of joy, so therefore there had to have been a fight occurring outside Lyanna's maternity room.

But, if we apply that 1:1 scale, it leaves many loose ends unaccounted. Some feel like square pegs, others like round holes. 

I'm not saying there isn't a strong parallel. If it is ever canon that Lyanna gave birth at the tower of joy, I will certainly be all for it. But parallels and inverses tend to muddy the text, rather than clarify it.

Again, I truly do appreciate the comparisons. I have made it myself, and will again. I have also compared Dany's descent into the HotU to Jon's descent into the crypts. There are an infinite amount of such parallels and inverses that can be drawn.

Too many, to be used as evidence in debate, in my opinion. And that is solely my opinion. I appreciate such discussions, but I've seen too many non-canonical arguments made based upon interpretations that began rooted in the text, but wound up on an entirely subjective inverse echo of a very far away limb. Does that make sense?

 

5 hours ago, ravenous reader said:

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

Not at all. But such behavior from Ned would raise a host of other questions. Many of which would probably be better served in another thread. I would suggest this one, but it's locked. We do have a new version of it open at the Hearth, though.

 

5 hours ago, ravenous reader said:

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

A Rorschach isn't a fallacy, nor would an interpretation of one be false. I am only pointing out that we do not know, and that our author is well-practiced in using our expectations against us.

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5 minutes ago, LynnS said:
  1.    

    I'm not even sure that Ned did the C-section.  If Lyanna died on the Quiet Isle, it's possible that her surgeon really was a butcher by trade.  

Sorry, the Quiet Isle theory doesn't make sense to me. Jon was nursed by Starfall's wetnurse.

 

5 minutes ago, LynnS said:
  1. Ned dishonors himself in the eyes of men and gods by lying about Jon.  As Bran tells us, you cannot lie to the old gods.  He dishonors his wife by telling the lie that Jon is younger than Robb when the age difference would be plain for anyone to see including his wife and he doesn't put Jon aside as convention should dictate.   He prays for forgiveness because he maintains the lie, as promised, because some things are too dangerous to tell even to your loved ones. 

There are several fundamental problems with this reasoning.

1. There are many keepers of the Old Gods who do not frown upon bastards. If anything, it seems as though there are far more who do not.

2. Lying about Jon, his ageDishonoring himself in the eyes of gods and men. There are no ten commandments etched upon the weirwoods forbidding men to lie, and Ned himself tells us that a lie can be honorable:

"We all lie," her father said. "Or did you truly think I'd believe that Nymeria ran off?"

Arya blushed guiltily. "Jory promised not to tell."

"Jory kept his word," her father said with a smile. "There are some things I do not need to be told. Even a blind man could see that wolf would never have left you willingly."

"We had to throw rocks," she said miserably. "I told her to run, to go be free, that I didn't want her anymore. There were other wolves for her to play with, we heard them howling, and Jory said the woods were full of game, so she'd have deer to hunt. Only she kept following, and finally we had to throw rocks. I hit her twice. She whined and looked at me and I felt so 'shamed, but it was right, wasn't it? The queen would have killed her."

"It was right," her father said. "And even the lie was … not without honor." He'd put Needle aside when he went to Arya to embrace her. Now he took the blade up again and walked to the window, where he stood for a moment, looking out across the courtyard. When he turned back, his eyes were thoughtful. He seated himself on the window seat, Needle across his lap. "Arya, sit down. I need to try and explain some things to you."

If Ned lied about Jon to save him, it was by Ned's own code an honorable lie.

3. We have zero evidence Ned lied to the old gods.

4. The "convention" of putting bastards aside belongs to noble society, not the Old Gods. But I do agree that this was an insult to Catelyn and worthy of guilt from Ned, according to noble protocol.

5. Again, this isn't Catholicism. Lying to protect a child's life isn't some damning sin for which Ned must atone. Per Ned's own code, the lie itself would have been honorable, rather than a source of grief.

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Just now, Voice said:

Sorry, the Quiet Isle theory doesn't make sense to me. Jon was nursed by Starfall's wetnurse.

 

There are several fundamental problems with this reasoning.

1. There are many keepers of the Old Gods who do not frown upon bastards. If anything, it seems as though there are far more who do not.

2. Lying about Jon, his ageDishonoring himself in the eyes of gods and men. There are no ten commandments etched upon the weirwoods forbidding men to lie, and Ned himself tells us that a lie can be honorable:

"We all lie," her father said. "Or did you truly think I'd believe that Nymeria ran off?"

Arya blushed guiltily. "Jory promised not to tell."

"Jory kept his word," her father said with a smile. "There are some things I do not need to be told. Even a blind man could see that wolf would never have left you willingly."

"We had to throw rocks," she said miserably. "I told her to run, to go be free, that I didn't want her anymore. There were other wolves for her to play with, we heard them howling, and Jory said the woods were full of game, so she'd have deer to hunt. Only she kept following, and finally we had to throw rocks. I hit her twice. She whined and looked at me and I felt so 'shamed, but it was right, wasn't it? The queen would have killed her."

"It was right," her father said. "And even the lie was … not without honor." He'd put Needle aside when he went to Arya to embrace her. Now he took the blade up again and walked to the window, where he stood for a moment, looking out across the courtyard. When he turned back, his eyes were thoughtful. He seated himself on the window seat, Needle across his lap. "Arya, sit down. I need to try and explain some things to you."

If Ned lied about Jon to save him, it was by Ned's own code an honorable lie.

3. We have zero evidence Ned lied to the old gods.

4. The "convention" of putting bastards aside belongs to noble society, not the Old Gods. But I do agree that this was an insult to Catelyn and worthy of guilt from Ned, according to noble protocol.

5. Again, this isn't Catholicism. Lying to protect a child's life isn't some damning sin for which Ned must atone. Per Ned's own code, the lie itself would have been honorable, rather than a source of grief.

It makes sense to me.  Wylla is not an uncommon name.  It's entirely possible that a wetnurse named Wylla was acquired at the Quiet Isle and sent with Walys Halfmaester south on Ned's orders.

Lying breaks Ned's code of honor, however he justifies it; everyone must collude in that lie also dishonoring the men around him; something that Catelyn must also live with on a daily basis.  The gods know when you are lying and Ned is a godly man.

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23 hours ago, ravenous reader said:

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

If the second forging of the sword is in the heart of a lion; you could consider the sleeping lion as something that is dormant or yet to be awakened in Jon. Bran is told by Jojen that he must search with his heart and Jon must become brave, fearless, lion-hearted in other words.  Now that Jon has been split in two; he must be reborn or reforged into the heart of the lion.  A reprise of the Lion of Night or the Night's King. 

Since we have two prophecies,  I think the last forging will have something to do with Dany rather than Jon.  Something to do literally with the last dragon aka the firey sword, symbolic of the red comet aka the sword with a serpent's tail.

Lions, particularly male lions, have been an important symbol for thousands of years and appear as a theme in cultures across Europe, Asia, and Africa. Despite the recorded incidents of attacks on humans, lions enjoy positive depiction in popular culture as creatures that appear strong, but gentle at the same time. The most consistent depiction is in keeping with their image of "king of the jungle" or "king of the beasts", hence lions are popular symbols of royalty and stateliness and a symbol of bravery.

Edited by LynnS

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11 hours ago, LynnS said:

It makes sense to me.  Wylla is not an uncommon name.  It's entirely possible that a wetnurse named Wylla was acquired at the Quiet Isle and sent with Walys Halfmaester south on Ned's orders.

Sure, I can see it from a King Robert or Manderly point of view, if I squint.

But what of House Dayne's point of view?

Spoiler

“My lady?” Ned said at last. “You have a baseborn brother . . . Jon Snow?”

“He’s with the Night’s Watch on the Wall.” Maybe I should go to the Wall instead of Riverrun. Jon wouldn’t care who I killed or whether I
brushed my hair . . . “Jon looks like me, even though he’s bastard-born. He used to muss my hair and call me ‘little sister.’” Arya missed Jon most of all. Just saying his name made her sad. “How do you know about Jon?”

“He is my milk brother.”

“Brother?” Arya did not understand. “But you’re from Dorne. How could you and Jon be blood?”

“Milk brothers. Not blood. My lady mother had no milk when I was little, so Wylla had to nurse me.”

Arya was lost. “Who’s Wylla?”

“Jon Snow’s mother. He never told you? She’s served us for years and years. Since before I was born.”

“Jon never knew his mother. Not even her name.” Arya gave Ned a wary look. “You know her? Truly?” Is he making mock of me? “If you lie I’ll punch your face.”

“Wylla was my wetnurse,” he repeated solemnly. “I swear it on the honor of my House.”

“You have a House?” That was stupid; he was a squire, of course he had a House. “Who are you?”

“My lady?” Ned looked embarrassed. “I’m Edric Dayne, the . . . the Lord of Starfall.”

Behind them, Gendry groaned. “Lords and ladies,” he proclaimed in a disgusted tone. Arya plucked a withered crabapple off a passing branch and whipped it at him, bouncing it off his thick bull head. “Ow,” he said. “That hurt.” He felt the skin above his eye. “What kind of lady throws crabapples at people?”

“The bad kind,” said Arya, suddenly contrite. She turned back to Ned. “I’m sorry I didn’t know who you were. My lord.”

“The fault is mine, my lady.” He was very polite.

Jon has a mother. Wylla, her name is Wylla. She would need to remember so she could tell him, the next time she saw him. She wondered if he would still call her “little sister.” I’m not so little anymore. He’d have to call me something else. Maybe once she got to Riverrun she could write Jon a letter and tell him what Ned Dayne had said. “There was an Arthur Dayne,” she remembered. “The one they called the Sword of the Morning.”

“My father was Ser Arthur’s elder brother. Lady Ashara was my aunt. I never knew her, though. She threw herself into the sea from atop the Palestone Sword before I was born.”

“Why would she do that?” said Arya, startled.

Ned looked wary. Maybe he was afraid that she was going to throw something at him. “Your lord father never spoke of her?” he said. “The Lady Ashara Dayne, of Starfall?”

“No. Did he know her?”

“Before Robert was king. She met your father and his brothers at Harrenhal, during the year of the false spring.”

“Oh.” Arya did not know what else to say. “Why did she jump in the sea, though?”

“Her heart was broken.”

Sansa would have sighed and shed a tear for true love, but Arya just thought it was stupid. She couldn’t say that to Ned, though, not about his own aunt. “Did someone break it?”

He hesitated. “Perhaps it’s not my place . . .”

“Tell me.”

He looked at her uncomfortably. “My aunt Allyria says Lady Ashara and your father fell in love at Harrenhal—”

“That’s not so. He loved my lady mother.”

“I’m sure he did, my lady, but—”

“She was the only one he loved.”

“He must have found that bastard under a cabbage leaf, then,” Gendry said behind them.

Arya wished she had another crabapple to bounce off his face. “My father had honor,” she said angrily. “And we weren’t talking to you
anyway. Why don’t you go back to Stoney Sept and ring that girl’s stupid bells?”

Gendry ignored that. “At least your father raised his bastard, not like mine. I don’t even know my father’s name. Some smelly drunk, I’d
wager, like the others my mother dragged home from the alehouse. Whenever she got mad at me, she’d say, ‘If your father was here, he’d beat you bloody.’ That’s all I know of him.” He spat. “Well, if he was here now, might be I’d beat him bloody. But he’s dead, I figure, and your father’s dead too, so what does it matter who he lay with?”

It mattered to Arya, though she could not have said why. Ned was trying to apologize for upsetting her, but she did not want to hear it.
She pressed her heels into her horse and left them both. Anguy theArcher was riding a few yards ahead. When she caught up with him, she said, “Dornishmen lie, don’t they?”

“They’re famous for it.” The bowman grinned. “Of course, they say the same of us marchers, so there you are. What’s the trouble now? Ned’s a good lad . . .”

“He’s just a stupid liar.” Arya left the trail, leapt a rotten log and splashed across a streambed, ignoring the shouts of the outlaws behind her. They just want to tell me more lies. She thought about trying to get away from them, but there were too many and they knew these lands too well. What was the use of running if they caught you?

It was Harwin who rode up beside her, in the end. “Where do you think you’re going, milady? You shouldn’t run off. There are wolves in these woods, and worse things.”

“I’m not afraid,” she said. “That boy Ned said . . .”

“Aye, he told me. Lady Ashara Dayne. It’s an old tale, that one. I heard it once at Winterfell, when I was no older than you are now.” He took hold of her bridle firmly and turned her horse around. “I doubt there’s any truth to it. But if there is, what of it? When Ned met this Dornish lady, his brother Brandon was still alive, and it was him betrothed to Lady Catelyn, so there’s no stain on your father’s honor. There’s nought like a tourney to make the blood run hot, so maybe some words were whispered in a tent of a night, who can say? Words or kisses, maybe more, but where’s the harm in that? Spring had come, or so they thought, and neither one of them was pledged.”

 

Quote

Lying breaks Ned's code of honor, however he justifies it; everyone must collude in that lie also dishonoring the men around him; something that Catelyn must also live with on a daily basis.  The gods know when you are lying and Ned is a godly man.

We've seen no laws of the Old Gods that forbid lies. And we have from Ned's own mouth that the type of lie you are proposing would in fact be honorable.

While one can certainly argue that lies are bad, morally speaking, the text directly contradicts your argument that Ned-himself would feel that way about this type of lie.

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13 hours ago, Voice said:

And

*An

"An uncomfortable but extremely likely outcome, if I am right about the miasma."

lol

Edited by Voice

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16 hours ago, Voice said:

Mmhmm. I stated as much in the OP:

Yes, and I was expressing agreement ;)

Quote

You may want to double check that... Ned's parents were cousins.

http://awoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/Eddard_Stark#Family

Yes, it happened once and then, but in pure genetics it should not be enough to keep the Starks so distinguished through the course of millennia.

Quote

 

 

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17 hours ago, Voice said:

 

 

You may want to double check that... Ned's parents were cousins.

http://awoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/Eddard_Stark#Family

 

 

I agree with you on much of what you are positing here, no doubt, but this is a detail that I see incorrectly repeated too often. Ned's parents were not first cousins. They were cousins once removed, which means a whole other bloodline was introduced which actually puts a little more distance in the family sorta like George explains with the Karstarks. 

Sorry, I don't mean to be nit picky, but I feel like this detail matters. 

Edited by The Fattest Leech

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18 hours ago, Voice said:

Bingo. And while I sincerely hope Jon is not a sacrificial lamb, he sure has katharmoi written all over him. And uncomfortable but extremely likely outcome, if I am right about the miasma.

 

:cheers:

Thank you for having an open mind. Few things are more valuable in the forum-verse. 

I went a bit long on the antler topic, so I'll spoilertag it here, and continue on to your points. :)
 

  Reveal hidden contents

 

Regarding the antlers, it's true that it is more common in warmer climates, but it is not isolated to them. I should have explained in my first stag-post that I was speaking of seasoned=OLD bucks who have lost their potency. I've sort of taken that meaning for granted over the years, as that is what a "stag" truly is. The term has been applied (mistakenly) to bachelors looking for women, but the animal term traditionally applied to bucks who no longer shed their antlers. That variety is as common in cold climates as it is in warm climates. Bucks that retain their antlers in warmer climates may not, technically speaking, be "stags," as the lack of shed comes from weather rather than from permanently reduced testosterone.

Anyhoo, I should have clarified the difference between a "stag" and a "buck" because those are not exactly everyday terms for most people, today. The slang usage of "stag" as a bachelor has since been applied to all "bucks," in our common tongue. :)

In hunter-speak, a "crowned stag" denotes a male deer/elk who cannot sire children but has not yet shattered its antlers. I have absolutely no idea if GRRM was familiar with this use of the term when he wrote of the Baratheons, but it definitely fits. Symbolically, we have three adult males of House Baratheon. One is a cuckold who believes himself the father of another man's children, one has a single trueborn daughter that Val refers to as "the dead girl" due to her disease (and whose siblings are shadowbabies), and the third was a homosexual who was unable to produce any children of his own prior to his early death. 

And beyond that, in the same book we are introduced to the "Crowned Stag," a tired old king who is long past his prime, we are introduced to another archaic term to end him, the mystical "white hart." Robert went chasing his youth and wound up impaled by a pig.

 

 

I don't want to say we all need to start thinking of Lyanna as having died from having a Caesarean, but it is definitely an angle we should consider with more than a passing thought. Blood is normal for a birth. A gore-spattered dress is not.

It might be that Jon was literally "born with the dead."

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."

"Born with the dead," another man put in. "Worse luck."

 

Now, if we consider how crude a medieval Caesarean would be, we must consider another very troubling idea. Lyanna would not have lived very long after it was done...

Which is why, before modern medicine, C-sections were typically only performed on the dead.

In other words, the phrase uttered when the wolf pups are found, "born with the dead," is quite synonymous with pre-modern Caesareans.

I might also note, for whoever might not be familiar with the miasma theory I link way too often, that there is a very prominent mythological hero who was born from this method, and it wasn't Julius Caesar. In the theory, it all connects to a very real man who was named John Snow, as it happens. But I am way off topic already and have linked that theory quite enough. :D

 

Great stuff. :cheers:  I very much like, and agree, with most of it. :D

But...

I think the "big bad boy" of ASOIAF would be quite obvious to most readers, if it were not hidden in the body of a beautiful young girl who always says she does not understand the ways of war.

 

There are many more where those came from, and some are far more feminine. First, there are the women who have died in childbirth. Tyrion and Dany were both born under such circumstances. Wetnurses exist as a constant reminder of this danger. If the mother dies, the heirs of the house still need milk.

We also have the reversals of fortune. Those mothers who live when their newborn does not: Ashara and Dany. Rather than have their pups cut out of them, Dany chose for her child to die. Ashara seems to have been saddened by her baby's death, so she threw herself from the tip of a sword, named the Palestone Sword.

Then, we have another ouroboros element:  A bloody blade takes a woman's virginity...

Brandon was never shy about taking what he wanted. I am old now, a dried-up thing, too long a widow, but I still remember the look of my maiden’s blood on his cock the night he claimed me. I think Brandon liked the sight as well. A bloody sword is a beautiful thing, yes. It hurt, but it was a sweet pain.

Thus, for women in ASOIAF who have had a C-section, a "bloody sword" both began their reproductive life, and ended it.

 

 

:cheers:  You are seeing what I am seeing.

And feel free to tag LmL if you'd like. He'll no doubt be borrowing from our conversation for some future podcast regardless. LOL

And before this next bit ends up on one of his episodes, I'd like to claim it (again), here.:commie: This quote really ties it all together:

"No," Ned said with sadness in his voice. "Now it ends." As they came together in a rush of steel and shadow, he could hear Lyanna screaming. "Eddard!" she called. A storm of rose petals blew across a blood-streaked sky, as blue as the eyes of death.

Pleading with him for promises. Screaming, and calling "Eddard!" Her voice becoming faint as a whisper. Her smile, tremulous, as she gives up her hold on life. Ned cannot bear to remember any of it... yet he holds her hand.

What can't Ned bear to remember, exactly?

And what led Lyanna to an early grave?

These two questions share the same answer:  Her wolf blood.

I think the wolf blood, in Ned's dream, Lyanna's wolf blood, streaked the sky. And I think this man who put no faith in signs saw, 14 years before its arrival, the Red Comet. I think he saw what more superstitious men might called a prophecy. And I think this old dream of Ned's foretold that the Others (the blue eyes of death) would follow the "blood"-streaked sky.

I think this dream has haunted Ned, ever since Jon Snow's birth, because Jon is the one who was destined to meet them. A Weirwood Ghost, at the end of the world.

Westeros needs your absolution, bastard.

I read your miasma essay what seems like a long time ago, but probably was not.  In the prologue it looks like a person in a tree calls the Others, so I go with that being a thing.  However, if a mind in the trees without a body calls them, what you said could definitely be an aspect of what they are, in fact I think it is a distinct possibility.  I lurk on the last hearth from time to time.  

 

I am going to throw out a possible root source for a lot of this symbolism.  I will say ahead that this is something that I have been trying to connect to ASoIaF for a couple months, so I am not impartial.  That being said, I think it fits.  It is the the Blood Eagle.  The Blood Eagle was a sacrifice to Odin where the lungs were cut out through the back and spread out like wings.  What sounds like that... 

 

Quote

"He died. There were blisters on his lips, after. His bird was bleeding too." The captain thumped his chest. "The hawk, just here. Every feather dripping blood. I heard the man was all burned up inside, but that might just have been some tale."

 

Quote

"The man who blew my dragon horn. When the maester cut him open, his lungs were charred as black as soot."      

 

I have seen people say that the bloody hawk sounds like Bloodraven, and, as a fellow Odin impersonator, he could also be a sacrifice to Euron.  I do not think we need to go that roundabout way for the horn blower to be a sacrifice to Euron.  I think through the blood eagle sacrifice he can be killed for an Odin impersonator like Euron, and rather Bloodraven's name comes from said documented sacifice.  Bloodraven is after all a sacifice to the trees with their roots piercing him.  Wings coming through a split in the back, I did connect to Dany's dream where her back opens and wings come out.  However, I did not connect it to all the people who are opened up from something low to something higher in the front.  Fortunately, @ravenous reader did.  They are everywhere.  Without even looking for them I two more in the last two days.

 

Quote

They had done what they could to close him up, but it was nowhere near enough. The boar must have been a fearsome thing. It had ripped the king from groin to nipple with its tusks. The wine-soaked bandages that Grand Maester Pycelle had applied were already black with blood, and the smell off the wound was hideous. Ned's stomach turned. He let the blanket fall.    

 

Quote

And it must be said of Ser Vardis Egen that he was true to his lady's command, even to the last. One moment he was reeling backward, half-crouched behind his scarred shield; the next he charged. The sudden bull rush caught Bronn off balance. Ser Vardis crashed into him and slammed the lip of his shield into the sellsword's face. Almost, almost, Bronn lost his feet … he staggered back, tripped over a rock, and caught hold of the weeping woman to keep his balance. Throwing aside his shield, Ser Vardis lurched after him, using both hands to raise his sword. His right arm was blood from elbow to fingers now, yet his last desperate blow would have opened Bronn from neck to navel … if the sellsword had stood to receive it.

 

Moments before Catelyn sees that second quote, she thinks of Littlefinger being opened up in the waist by Brandon Stark's sword. In transformational terms, this is Littlefinger's death that turns him into a trickster in the shadows who stays away from fights.  @ravenous reader, this is what I was talking about on your thread.  I had the name wrong.  I am still terrible with names.  I said Vance, I think that is the name of a Stark guard a couple chapters later, instead of the name of the guy in the ritual combat in the chapter I was talking about is Vardis Egen.  

 

I must make deal with the devil now and summon him.  @LmL, can you elaborate on how people, sometimes but not always moon maidens, who are either split open in the back to sprout wing are similar to people opened up in the front, either in ritual combat or to die giving birth to Lightbringer babies?        

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1 hour ago, Unchained said:

I read your miasma essay what seems like a long time ago, but probably was not.  In the prologue it looks like a person in a tree calls the Others, so I go with that being a thing.  However, if a mind in the trees without a body calls them, what you said could definitely be an aspect of what they are, in fact I think it is a distinct possibility.  I lurk on the last hearth from time to time.  

 

I am going to throw out a possible root source for a lot of this symbolism.  I will say ahead that this is something that I have been trying to connect to ASoIaF for a couple months, so I am not impartial.  That being said, I think it fits.  It is the the Blood Eagle.  The Blood Eagle was a sacrifice to Odin where the lungs were cut out through the back and spread out like wings.  What sounds like that... 

 

 

 

I have seen people say that the bloody hawk sounds like Bloodraven, and, as a fellow Odin impersonator, he could also be a sacrifice to Euron.  I do not think we need to go that roundabout way for the horn blower to be a sacrifice to Euron.  I think through the blood eagle sacrifice he can be killed for an Odin impersonator like Euron, and rather Bloodraven's name comes from said documented sacifice.  Bloodraven is after all a sacifice to the trees with their roots piercing him.  Wings coming through a split in the back, I did connect to Dany's dream where her back opens and wings come out.  However, I did not connect it to all the people who are opened up from something low to something higher in the front.  Fortunately, @ravenous reader did.  They are everywhere.  Without even looking for them I two more in the last two days.

 

 

 

Moments before Catelyn sees that second quote, she thinks of Littlefinger being opened up in the waist by Brandon Stark's sword. In transformational terms, this is Littlefinger's death that turns him into a trickster in the shadows who stays away from fights.  @ravenous reader, this is what I was talking about on your thread.  I had the name wrong.  I am still terrible with names.  I said Vance, I think that is the name of a Stark guard a couple chapters later, instead of the name of the guy in the ritual combat in the chapter I was talking about is Vardis Egen.  

 

I must make deal with the devil now and summon him.  @LmL, can you elaborate on how people, sometimes but not always moon maidens, who are either split open in the back to sprout wing are similar to people opened up in the front, either in ritual combat or to die giving birth to Lightbringer babies?        

@Unchained you know I love you but the first thing I am seeing here as I read over is a bunch of what can only be fairly called cheap shots thrown at me @Voice, so I really don't have any interest in participating in the thread. I'm busy mining worthier threads so I can steal people's ideas without giving them credit, apparently? so I am understandably low on time. Yeah. Or something. Be happy to chat with you on another thread, peace. 

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4 hours ago, leonardof said:

Yes, and I was expressing agreement ;)

Yes, it happened once and then, but in pure genetics it should not be enough to keep the Starks so distinguished through the course of millennia.

:cheers:

I think inbreeding is pretty much what "nobility" is. I mean, if a lord from Winterfell can only marry a lady from a noble house, preferable one of the seven great houses... and this practice is carried on in perpetuity, then that makes for a whole lot of marrying back into your family (even if it a partner a different surname).

GRRM is on the record on these matters. I'll dig up some SSM on the topic.

I think the marriage of Rickard and Lyarra informs us that the Starks were not less a part of that system.

 

3 hours ago, The Fattest Leech said:

I agree with you on much of what you are positing here, no doubt, but this is a detail that I see incorrectly repeated too often. Ned's parents were not first cousins. They were cousins once removed, which means a whole other bloodline was introduced which actually puts a little more distance in the family sorta like George explains with the Karstarks. 

Sorry, I don't mean to be nit picky, but I feel like this detail matters. 

I didn't mean to imply that they were first cousins. I would only remind folks here that Ned's mother came from House Stark, and Ned's father did as well. Rickard Stark married Lyarra Stark.

That is inbreeding.

It may not be considered incest, to most people here, but that begs the question as to when inbreeding ceases to be deemed "incest." Is an uncle+niece or aunt+nephew relationship incestuous? I would think so. But to each his own. I'm not here to judge people's sexual preferences.

Notably, Ned was not offended in the least by Cersei's relationship with Jaime. Ned's only issue with their children was that they should not be considered legitimate heirs to the throne. If Robert's wife had been Robert's own cousin, or Robert's own sister, and they had children, then I think Ned would have been fine with that and considered them legitimate heirs.

Ned saw nothing wrong with twincest, because incest and inbreeding is extremely common in nobility (if not the origin and bedrock of it).

 

1 minute ago, LmL said:

@Unchained you know I love you but the first thing I am seeing here as I read over is a bunch of what can only be fairly called cheap shots thrown at me @Voice, so I really don't have any interest in participating in the thread. I'm busy mining worthier threads so I can steal people's ideas without giving them credit, apparently? so I am understandably low on time. Yeah. Or something. Be happy to chat with you on another thread, peace. 

And here I thought you were one of the thick-skinned ones, and could appreciate that sort of humor. I'm sorry. I was only make an (apparently bad) attempt at a joke. People were tiptoeing around your name like you were some verboten relic.

I know you give folks credit, myself included. But, yes, I have also seen you borrow ideas from time to time without credit.

Another time, ole chap. Enjoy your worthier threads.  :cheers:

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4 minutes ago, Voice said:

And here I thought you were one of the thick-skinned ones, and could appreciate that sort of humor. I'm sorry. I was only make an (apparently bad) attempt at a joke. People were tiptoeing around your name like you were some verboten relic.

I know you give folks credit, myself included. But, yes, I have also seen you borrow ideas from time to time without credit.

Another time, ole chap. Enjoy your worthier threads.  :cheers:

@Voice, come on man. What's with the behind the back shit talking? You know I am a stand up guy. I don't hesitate to give credit where credit is due, including you in a couple of the older episodes - so if I've missed you somehow on something, you need only reach out to me. Talking crap about me when I haven't even spoken with you for months or said narry an ill word about you - that's lame. Passing it off as a joke? Also lame. If you are talking to me, you can make a joke about me. What I am seeing here is a repeated insinuation of stealing material without credit, behind my back, so that's not a joke. You've made this insinuation before, and when I press you about what exactly you might be referring to, you don't have a specific example. If you do, let me know. Otherwise, you're just taking cheap shots for no reason. 

Edited by LmL

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And dude, I'm sure you're thread is great, they always are. I would have read it if the first thing I freakin saw upon coming over here was you taking cheap shots at me. I saw someone tagged me in your thread and I thought "oh cool, voice has a thread," and then that's what I find. It's a bummer. 

Edited by LmL

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1 hour ago, Unchained said:

I read your miasma essay what seems like a long time ago, but probably was not.  In the prologue it looks like a person in a tree calls the Others, so I go with that being a thing.  However, if a mind in the trees without a body calls them, what you said could definitely be an aspect of what they are, in fact I think it is a distinct possibility.  I lurk on the last hearth from time to time.

:cheers:

I'm not sure what you mean by the bold, though.

 

1 hour ago, Unchained said:

I am going to throw out a possible root source for a lot of this symbolism.  I will say ahead that this is something that I have been trying to connect to ASoIaF for a couple months, so I am not impartial.  That being said, I think it fits.  It is the the Blood Eagle.  The Blood Eagle was a sacrifice to Odin where the lungs were cut out through the back and spread out like wings.  What sounds like that... 

 

 

 

I have seen people say that the bloody hawk sounds like Bloodraven, and, as a fellow Odin impersonator, he could also be a sacrifice to Euron.  I do not think we need to go that roundabout way for the horn blower to be a sacrifice to Euron.  I think through the blood eagle sacrifice he can be killed for an Odin impersonator like Euron, and rather Bloodraven's name comes from said documented sacifice.  Bloodraven is after all a sacifice to the trees with their roots piercing him.  Wings coming through a split in the back, I did connect to Dany's dream where her back opens and wings come out.  However, I did not connect it to all the people who are opened up from something low to something higher in the front.  Fortunately, @ravenous reader did.  They are everywhere.  Without even looking for them I two more in the last two days.

Very cool.

A dragon-itself might be seen as such an "eagle," no?

It is not produced naturally, and is born from a sacrifice of fire and blood.

 

1 hour ago, Unchained said:

Moments before Catelyn sees that second quote, she thinks of Littlefinger being opened up in the waist by Brandon Stark's sword. In transformational terms, this is Littlefinger's death that turns him into a trickster in the shadows who stays away from fights.  @ravenous reader, this is what I was talking about on your thread.  I had the name wrong.  I am still terrible with names.  I said Vance, I think that is the name of a Stark guard a couple chapters later, instead of the name of the guy in the ritual combat in the chapter I was talking about is Vardis Egen.  

I'm also reminded of the phrase "words are wind." Wings drink the wind, in asoiaf, and they also drink words.

The blood eagle is the sort of twisted motif that I could see GRRM liking. LOL

It flies upon wind with bloody wings that carry wind/words/life.

 

1 hour ago, Unchained said:

I must make deal with the devil now and summon him.  @LmL, can you elaborate on how people, sometimes but not always moon maidens, who are either split open in the back to sprout wing are similar to people opened up in the front, either in ritual combat or to die giving birth to Lightbringer babies?        

I was going to crack a joke here, but I'll wait and make sure he isn't too upset first.

For now, let me point out that Ilyn Payne is another interesting version of a man whose means of manufacturing speech have been removed by fire and blood (hot pincers). So rather than the lungs being pulled out, Ilyn had his tongue pulled out.

Words are wind, but Ilyn can only speak wind. Words are wind, but the eagle's wings are blood.

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