Seams Posted August 2, 2017 Share Posted August 2, 2017 In a recent thread about the Winterfell crypt, @Clegane'sPup pointed out the similarity between the crypt and the CotF cave in which Arianne and Daemon Sand search for Arianne's cousin, Elia (one of the younger Sand Snakes). I agree with the point that GRRM often gives us cave scenes for important conversations, soul-searching, journeys and symbolic turning points - and I added that I thought ruins might be part of the larger cave / crypt / stone tunnel motif. Clegane'sPup cited an excerpt in which Elia goes deep into the cave on her own with just a torch, and is finally found catching fish with her hands: The passageway Arianne had chosen for herself turned steep and wet within a hundred feet. The footing grew uncertain. Once she slipped, and had to catch herself to keep from sliding. More than once she considered turning back, but she could see Ser Daemon’s torch ahead and hear him calling for Elia, so she pressed on. And all at once she found herself in another cavern, five times as big as the last one, surrounded by a forest of stone columns. Daemon Sand moved to her side and raised his torch. “Look how the stone’s been shaped,” he said. “Those columns, and the wall there. See them?” “Faces,” said Arianne. So many sad eyes, staring. “This place belonged to the children of the forest.” “A thousand years ago.” Arianne turned her head. “Listen. Is that Joss?” It was. The other searchers had found Elia, as she and Daemon learned after they made their way back up the slippery slope to the last hall. Their passageway led down to a still black pool, where they discovered the girl up to her waist in water, catching blind white fish with her bare hands, her torch burning red and smoky in the sand where she had planted it. “You could have died,” Arianne told her, when she’d heard the tale. She grabbed Elia by the arm and shook her. “If that torch had gone out you would have been alone in the dark, as good as blind. What did you think that you were doing?” “I caught two fish,” said Elia Sand. “You could have died,” said Arianne again. Her words echoed off the cavern walls. “…died… died … died…” (TWoW, Arianne II?) The faces with the sad eyes are like the statues in the Stark crypt, of course. But the scene is also very similar, in my opinion, to Jon Snow finding the obsidian cache at the Fist of the First Men (ACoK, Jon IV) : he is surrounded by the forest, he is led along a difficult path, instead of a pool, he crosses a stream where Ghost has stopped to take a drink (Is the white wolf like the white fish?) and then he jams the torch into the ground so he can use both hands to dig in the sand. The scene ends with the word "died" repeated three times, as if Mormont's raven were present to make a point about Elia's potential death. The loose sand in the obsidian scene was so unexpected in that setting that I thought the author must be using the sand to tell us something about Dorne - are we supposed to compare sand and snow? The northern bastard and the southron bastards? There are details in the digging of the bundle that indicate that a birth is occurring and that Jon delivers the newborn. Is it significant that the baby emerges from sand? Is it important that Elia is the name of Rhaegar's wife, and Jon is presumed to be Rhaegar's son? If the birth symbolism is correct, are the two fish caught by this Elia (niece of the Princess Elia) supposed to represent the two children of Princess Elia? So I went back and re-read the Arianne chapter to see what else I could see. Details struck me right away. I quickly concluded that Arianne's journey through Cape Wrath is a fast forwarded equivalent of Jon's journey Beyond the Wall. The chapter's opening line: All along the south coast of Cape Wrath rose crumbling stone watchtowers, raised in ancient days to give warning of Dornish raiders stealing in across the sea. Sounds like the forts along the Wall, raised in ancient days to give warning about white walkers and/or wildlings. . . . where the corpse of the Young Dragon had once lingered for three days on its journey home from Dorne. Hmm. I wonder whether we will see the corpse of the (presumed) young dragon, Jon Snow, linger for three days before . . . Some will make a mark upon a paper if you ask for payment, but there’s others who would just as soon cut your belly open and pay you with a handful of your own guts. Craster and Lord Commander Mormont both have their bellies cut open. There is extended description of lush vegetation, similar to descriptive passages when Jon climbs a mountain with the Night's Watch brother Stonesnake, and when he wakes up at Craster's Keep after rain has frozen on the surrounding flora during the night. Arianne also observes refugees fleeing the battle lines. Although Jon Snow doesn't see the wildling refugees at this point, he and his Night's Watch brothers are aware of the exodus of free folk from their traditional villages. Both characters are aiming toward kings: Arianne wonders whether she will meet up with her brother at the end of his journey, and whether he will be King Quentyn, married to Daenerys Targaryen. Jon's mission is to meet up with the King Beyond the Wall. Interestingly, Arianne is still thinking that fAegon is a boy and that Jon Connington is running the show at Griffin's Roost. Toward the end of the chapter, Haldon Halfmaester reminds her that Aegon is leading the army and that he is a man grown - this is similar to Jon Snow's transformation from a novice ranger to the Lord Commander shortly after his return from his undercover mission. At a castle called MIstfall, Arianne encounters two members of the Golden Company who are holding the stronghold on behalf of Aegon. They are known as Young John Mudd and Chain. My initial thought is that Young John Mudd represents Jon Snow: Arianne makes an observation about Mudd being the surname of an ancient line of kings. Chain wears chains and carries a length of chain as a whip-like weapon. Could Chain represent Rattleshirt? The author doesn't tell us that the crossed chain on Chain's chest rattles when he moves, but we can imagine it. Or it could allude to a maester, which might mean a Sam Tarly equivalent. There are more details that might match Jon's arc. I realize, though, that a number of the details also match Bran and Meera's arc - the blind fish, the eyes in the chamber (skulls and bones in Bloodraven's cave), blackberries. There are also Sansa parallels, with discussion of melons and maidenheads as well as waterfalls and weeping, which allude to Alyssa's Tears at the Eyrie. The author introduced Arianne relatively late in the series, but she is "catching up" quickly, undergoing a journey that took the Stark kids many chapters and books to cover. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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