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Patterns in wounds and deaths - please help compile a list.

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I've wished many times for a searchable ASOIAF database of grievous wounds and ways to die. With things a little slow in the forum lately, maybe we can start to compile a list and see whether we can see some patterns or matches. I am thinking that each entry on the list should indicate

  • the nature of the injury or death,
  • the type of weapon used to inflict it,
  • whether the death was inflicted by a declared, known enemy or someone else,
  • whether magic was known to be involved, and
  • the effect, if any, on the game of thrones.
  • Naturally, I'm also interested in the overt or symbolic links to other deaths or injuries. I.e., has anyone else experienced a similar injury?

I'll start with a few examples to show what interests me, but you can offer other approaches if you see important points that I miss.

Amputated Ear

Myrcella Baratheon's ear is cut off by Gerold Dayne (Darkstar), who used a sword.

  • Darkstar apparently wanted to kill Myrcella, much to the surprise of others in his circle.
  • Arys Oakheart died at about the same time and his death was blamed on Darkstar although it was caused by Areo Hotah.

Gared, a ranger of the Night's Watch, lost both his ears to frostbite.

Amputated Nose

Tyrion's nose is cut off in battle by Ser Mandon Moore, a member of the Kings guard.

  • Moore apparently wanted to kill Tyrion.
  • The missing nose may be linked to the "You know nothing, Jon Snow" motif through a pun on nose / know.

Rorge has no nose. The cause of his injury is not described in the books.

Spoiler

Jeyne Poole may lose the tip of her nose to frostbite.

By contrast, characters said to have unique olfactory gifts include Dywen, who can smell cold, Weese (who claims to be able to smell defiance, pride and disobedience) and dogs / The Hound, who can smell a lie.

Protruding Leg Bone

Ned Stark's leg is broken when his horse falls on him during an attack by Jaime and his crew. Ned never recovers.

He saw them cut the legs from Jory's mount. . . . When Ned's horse lurched back to its feet, he tried to rise, only to fall again, choking on his scream. He could see the splintered bone poking through his calf. It was the last thing he saw for a time The rain came down and down and down. (AGoT, Eddard IX)

A stone man, once a Summer Islander, seems to be aiming for fAegon / Young Griff as he jumps from the ruins of Chroyane in the Sorrows onto the boat the Shy Maid. The man may soon drown in the river Rhoyne.

The leap had shattered one of his legs, and a jagged piece of pale bone jutted out through the rotted cloth of his breeches and the grey meat beneath. The broken bone was speckled with brown blood, but still he lurched forward, reaching for Young Griff. His hand was grey and stiff, but blood oozed between his knuckles as he tried to close his fingers to grasp The boy stood staring, as still as if he too were made of stone. . . . (ADwD, Tryion V)

Missing Arm

Jaime Lannister's right arm (his kingslayer and sword arm) is cut off by Zollo, a Dothraki member of the Brave Companions, by order of Vargo Hoat. Zollo uses an Arakh.

Othor. Cause of death not shown, but he becomes a wight. His arm is brought to Jon Snow by the direwolf Ghost. Ser Aliser Thorne later brings the arm to King's Landing but the arm has "died," and Tyrion laughs at the idea of reanimated dead men.

Donal Noye is a one-armed smith and member of the Night's Watch. The loss of his arm occurs before the action of the books, during the siege of Storm's End.

  • He made Robert Baratheon's warhammer that was used to kill Rhaegar Targaryen.
  • He is later killed by a giant.

Missing Fingers

Great John Umber - fingers bitten off by the direwolf Grey Wind for treasonous remark about Robb Stark.

Qhorin Halfhand - wounded by wildlings.

Davos Seaworth - fingers cut off by Stannis as punishment for smuggling. (Davos is also knighted by Stannis for smuggling.)

Lady Donella Hornwood - eats her fingers when Ramsay Snow imprisons and tortures her.

(In the direwolf re-read for AGoT, we discussed kings taking fingers.)

Stabbed in the throat/mouth

Lommy Greenhands - Stabbed with a spear by Raff the Sweetling because he cannot walk, due to a prior spear wound in his leg inflicted by Amory Lorch's men.

A man of the small folk - shot with a crossbow quarrel by Joffrey when a mob demands food in King's Landing.

Biter - as he fights Brienne, he is speared through the back of his neck by Gendry, with the spear point emerging from his mouth. (Biter's tongue was cut out before the books begin.)

 

I realize this is not an exhaustive list. I haven't even mentioned burns, poison, losing an eye or animal attacks (Robert killed by a boar) at all. Cut throats will include Catelyn, Qhorin Halfhand and Ralf Kenning. Beheadings will include a list and might have to distinguish between people beheaded as a cause of death and people beheaded after death (Robb Stark, Gregor Clegane).

I'll be curious which other clusters of death types can be identified or which characters should be added to the categories I offered here.

Edited by Seams

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Peculiar as this is, I find it interesting. You might want to add in any mythological, or other literary associations. For example loss of Jaime's hand & the Norse God Tyr.

Notable injuries & mutiliations for you to categorise:

Brienne's cheek getting chewed and spat out by Biter. 

Vargo's ear bitten by Brienne - was dying of infection before he was slowly fricasseed.

Everything Ramsay does.

Deaths:

The Frey pies and legend of the rat cook.

Death by bear! - Amory Lorch

Death by boar - Robert

Do you need a poisoning category for Tywin and Joffrey?

You will probably need a category 'death by Arya'.

Incidental cruelties (minor characters knocked off just so we know what a rotten world it is):

the dwarf septon beheaded in the hope of reward

The sexton hanging upside down used for target practice by the brave companions/gregor's men - I can't remember which.

deaths in battle - the Karstark sons dying defending Robb. Raynard Westerling dying trying to free the direwolf. Donal Noye. Ygritte.

 

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Oh man. This seems ambitious. But if you succeed, I assume there will be at least some useful insight to be gained.

Off the top of my head, the most significant example is when Jon and Sam (and the other NW brothers) observe the bodies of Jafer Flowers and Othor. Jafer was killed from an axe blow to the neck, an axe suspiciously similar to the one Othor carried. And Othor was killed by a "rash" of wounds covering his neck, groin, and torso IIRC. It is ambiguous what caused these wounds. My speculation has long been that it was murderous ravens, and that the weirnet killed the men, sent them to the Wall, warged Ghost to lead the NW to the bodies, and used them for a false flag attack on LC Mormont.

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8 hours ago, Seams said:

Amputated Ear

Not amputated per say but I think you will like it

"The left side of his face was a ruin. His ear had been burned away; there was nothing left but a hole. His eye was still good, but all around it was a twisted mass of scar, slick black flesh hard as leather, pocked with craters and fissured by deep cracks that gleamed red and wet when he moved. Down by his jaw, you could see a hint of bone where the flesh had been seared away"

Theon is an interesting one, death by infection is very common (aided or unaided) but Theon lives in filth and suffers no ill effect physically.

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Tyrion losing his nose and Brienne having a huge hole chewed into her cheek are similar in that it seems like they had lucked out enough in looks without having a facial mutilation thrown in.

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Great topic. Nose injury would be a good start, because it happens to several characters with an ongoing story.

Lem Lemoncloak has his nose broken by Arya with a tankard. It does not heal well. Thoros says of Lem: "Even brave men blind themselves sometimes, when they are afraid to see." Lem takes the Hound helmet from (noseless) Rorge's corpse, and wears it. Is the helmet a prosthetic nose? There is a theory that Lem was one of Rhaegar's companions, and may have secrets to tell.

Syrio says the nose is one of the ways to detect the truth: "...The heart lies and the head plays tricks with us, but the eyes see true. Look with your eyes. Hear with your ears. Taste with your mouth. Smell with your nose. Feel with your skin. Then comes the thinking, afterward, and in that way knowing the truth.".

There are six occasions when Tyrion's nose scar itches fiercely - it might be interesting to check the context, but I haven't time at the moment.

Edited by Springwatch
Added 3rd & 4th para

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Turned into food:

The famous singer stew

The Frey pies

People Ramsay feeds to his dogs

Brienne's cheek

Arguably Vargo's ear

Osha's group of wildling being eaten by the direwolves 

Warged animals eating people (most notably Summer with Bran inside, and Arya's wolf dreams)

The mysterious "pork" provided by Coldhands.

Soldiers in Stannis's army eating the dead.

That's all I can think of for now (in this category) 

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The amputated nose also makes me think of the saying cutting of your nose to spite your face, or in other words, pursuing justice or revenge to the point you end up harming yourself more than you gain. I really like the nose/knows pun, though! Looking for revenge themes which hurt the revenge-seeker among the noseless crowd might turn up something.

Perhaps group exposed bone with protruding bone? Such a group would then include Davos and the Hound. Rattleshirt and by extension Mance might then have exposed bone of a sort.

The protruding bone of Ned and and the mention of it in Aegon's arc is yet another Ned/Aegon connection. Ned is immobilized by his catastrophic leg injury (figuratively turned to stone?) and Ned is strongly linked to the stone statues in the Winterfell crypt. Some have speculated that greyscale and the iron holding the old Lords and Kings of Winterfell may have a connection. Here we have Aegon immobilized and turned to stone.

I'm working on a topic about red and/or bloody lips or mouths. It's a very consistent indicator of the character's serious intent to murder in that moment. This is a nice example: Sansa is beaten and her lip becomes bloody. She almost kills Joff. Sandor cleans the blood from her mouth and "the moment was gone".

AGOT Sansa VI

This time the knight grasped her beneath the jaw and held her head still as he struck her. He hit her twice, left to right, and harder, right to left. Her lip split and blood ran down her chin, to mingle with the salt of her tears.

"You shouldn't be crying all the time," Joffrey told her. "You're more pretty when you smile and laugh."

Sansa made herself smile, afraid that he would have Ser Meryn hit her again if she did not, but it was no good, the king still shook his head. "Wipe off the blood, you're all messy."

The outer parapet came up to her chin, but along the inner edge of the walk was nothing, nothing but a long plunge to the bailey seventy or eighty feet below. All it would take was a shove, she told herself. He was standing right there, right there, smirking at her with those fat wormlips. You could do it, she told herself. You could. Do it right now. It wouldn't even matter if she went over with him. It wouldn't matter at all.

"Here, girl." Sandor Clegane knelt before her, between her and Joffrey. With a delicacy surprising in such a big man, he dabbed at the blood welling from her broken lip.

The moment was gone. Sansa lowered her eyes. "Thank you," she said when he was done. She was a good girl, and always remembered her courtesies.

 

 

 

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52 minutes ago, Lollygag said:

 

I'm working on a topic about red and/or bloody lips or mouths. It's a very consistent indicator of the character's serious intent to murder in that moment. This is a nice example: Sansa is beaten and her lip becomes bloody. She almost kills Joff. Sandor cleans the blood from her mouth and "the moment was gone".

 

GRRM uses the red mouth of people who chew sour leaf as an image of impending death, or warning of death. He does it in the hedge knight, in the story about Lady Rohan, he sees his nasty colleague with a red mouth before any of the trouble starts I think, and I think he later sees all the boy recruits to their ragtag fighting group chewing it. I don't think they do die though, as Dunk finds another way round the problem.

In ASOIF I think its Masha Heddle who has it in the only scene we see her in, and she is later killed on Tywin's orders. Hope I have got this correct, should have checked.

The image of a 'red smile' is the same image often used for a cut throat.

PS I search red smile in a search of ice and fire...

A Game of Thrones - Catelyn V 

 
 She still remembered the innkeep, a fat woman named Masha Heddle who chewed sourleaf night and day and seemed to have an endless supply of smiles and sweet cakes for the children. The sweet cakes had been soaked with honey, rich and heavy on the tongue, but how Catelyn had dreaded those smiles. The sourleaf had stained Masha's teeth a dark red, and made her smile a bloody horror.
 
...
 
It was near dark when they reached it, at the crossroads north of the great confluence of the Trident. Masha Heddle was fatter and greyer than Catelyn remembered, still chewing her sourleaf, but she gave them only the most cursory of looks, with nary a hint of her ghastly red smile. "Two rooms at the top of the stair, that's all there is," she said, chewing all the while. 
 
[but she does smile at Tyrion] 
 
Masha Heddle was bowing and smiling her hideous red smile. "I'm sorry, m'lord, truly, we're full up, every room."
 

A Game of Thrones - Tyrion IV 

"It might be said that your death is the point, Lannister," Catelyn Stark replied.
"I think not," Tyrion said. "If you wanted me dead, you had only to say the word, and one of these staunch friends of yours would gladly have given me a redsmile." He looked at Kurleket, but the man was too dim to taste the mockery. 
"The Starks do not murder men in their beds."
 

A Game of Thrones - Tyrion VII 

Shagga was gaping back; beyond a certainty, he had never seen so many men, horses, and weapons in all his days. The rest of the mountain brigands did a better job of guarding their faces, but Tyrion had no doubts that they were full as much in awe. Better and better. The more impressed they were with the power of the Lannisters, the easier they would be to command.
 
The inn and its stables were much as he remembered, though little more than tumbled stones and blackened foundations remained where the rest of the village had stood. A gibbet had been erected in the yard, and the body that swung there was covered with ravens. At Tyrion's approach they took to the air, squawking and flapping their black wings. He dismounted and glanced up at what remained of the corpse. The birds had eaten her lips and eyes and most of her cheeks, baring her stained red teeth in a hideous smile. "A room, a meal, and a flagon of wine, that was all I asked," he reminded her with a sigh of reproach.
 

A Game of Thrones - Eddard XIII 

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.
"Stinks," Robert said. "The stink of death, don't think I can't smell it. Bastard did me good, eh? But I … I paid him back in kind, Ned." The king's smile was as terrible as his wound, his teeth red. "Drove a knife right through his eye. Ask them if I didn't. Ask them."
 
...
 
Robert managed a weak red smile. "At the least, they will say … this last thing … this I did right. You won't fail me. You'll rule now. You'll hate it, worse than I did … but you'll do well. Are you done with the scribbling?"
 

A Clash of Kings - Arya III 

"I don't care. I want to go home."
"Been bringing men to the Wall for close on thirty years." Froth shone on Yoren's lips, like bubbles of blood. "All that time, I only lost three. Old man died of a fever, city boy got snakebit taking a shit, and one fool tried to kill me in my sleep and got a red smile for his trouble." He drew the dirk across his throat, to show her. "Three in thirty years." He spat out the old sourleaf. "A ship now, might have been wiser. No chance o' finding more men on the way, but still . . . clever man, he'd go by ship, but me . . . thirty years I been taking this kingsroad." He sheathed his dirk. "Go to sleep, boy. Hear me?"
 

A Storm of Swords - Catelyn III 

"Leave him!" Robb's voice rang with command. Umber stepped back away from the captive.
 
Lord Karstark spit out a broken tooth. "Yes, Lord Umber, leave me to the king. He means to give me a scolding before he forgives me. That's how he deals with treason, our King in the North." He smiled a wet red smile. "Or should I call you the King Who Lost the North, Your Grace?"
 

A Storm of Swords - Sansa VI 

"The hidden dagger."
 
"There's a clever girl." He smiled, his thin lips bright red from the pomegranate seeds. "When the Imp sent off her guards, the queen had Ser Lancel hire sellswords for her. Lancel found her the Kettleblacks, which delighted your little lord husband, since the lads were in his pay through his man Bronn." He chuckled. "But it was me who told Oswell to get his sons to King's Landing when I learned that Bronn was looking for swords. Three hidden daggers, Alayne, now perfectly placed." 
"So one of the Kettleblacks put the poison in Joff's cup?" Ser Osmund had been near the king all night, she remembered.
 

A Feast for Crows - Brienne II 

"I am looking for my sister. She's highborn, only three-and-ten, a pretty maid with blue eyes and auburn hair. You may have seen her traveling with a man. A knight, perhaps a fool. There's gold for the man who helps me find her."
"Gold?" The brother gave her a red smile. "A bowl of that crab stew would be enough reward for me, but I fear I cannot help you. Fools I've met, and plenty, but not so many pretty maids." He cocked his head and thought a moment. "There was a fool at Maidenpool, now that I think of it. He was clad in rags and dirt, as near as I could tell, but under the dirt was motley."
 

A Feast for Crows - Cersei III 

(at Tommen's wedding)
"What a disappointment," Lady Olenna complained loudly. "I was hoping for 'The Rains of Castamere.'"
 
Whenever Cersei looked at the old crone, the face of Maggy the Frog seemed to float before her eyes, wrinkled and terrible and wise. All old women look alike, she tried to tell herself, that's all it is. In truth, the bent-back sorceress had looked nothing like the Queen of Thorns, yet somehow the sight of Lady Olenna's nasty little smile was enough to put her back in Maggy's tent again. She could still remember the smell of it, redolent with queer eastern spices, and the softness of Maggy's gums as she sucked the blood from Cersei's finger. Queen you shall be, the old woman had promised, with her lips still wet and redand glistening, until there comes another, younger and more beautiful, to cast you down and take all that you hold dear.
 

A Feast for Crows - Samwell V 

"Kill him?" Sam said, shocked. "Why?"
"If I tell you, they may need to kill you too." Marywn smiled a ghastly smile, the juice of the sourleaf running red between his teeth. "Who do you think killed all the dragons the last time around? Gallant dragonslayers armed with swords?" He spat. "The world the Citadel is building has no place in it for sorcery or prophecy or glass candles, much less for dragons. Ask yourself why Aemon Targaryen was allowed to waste his life upon the Wall, when by rights he should have been raised to archmaester. His blood was why. He could not be trusted. No more than I can." 
"What will you do?" asked Alleras, the Sphinx.
 

A Dance with Dragons - A Ghost in Winterfell 

Aenys Frey's mouth quivered with outrage. "Stark dishonored us. That is what you northmen had best remember."
Roose Bolton rubbed at his chapped lips. "This squabbling will not serve." He flicked his fingers at Theon. "You are free to go. Take care where you wander. Else it might be you we find upon the morrow, smiling a red smile." 
 

Edited by Castellan

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This requires a spreadsheet!

Ear issues which haven’t been mentioned yet (I think): Balerion the cat, the Syrio sees ear wounds on the Sealord’s cat (kitten fights),  Hyle Hunt has a scar by his ear as does Shadrich , and there’s Chella and the Black Ears who amputate ears and gain additional ears in the act. More below.

ADWD Iron Suitor—Wulfe One-Ear who doesn’t want to listen to Moqorro 

R'hllor. A red priest, then. Victarion had seen such men in foreign cities, tending their sacred fires. Those had worn rich red robes of silk and velvet and lambswool. This one was dressed in faded, salt-stained rags that clung to his thick legs and hung about his torso in tatters … but when the captain peered at the rags more closely, it did appear as if they might once have been red. "A pink priest," Victarion announced.

"A demon priest," said Wulfe One-Ear. He spat.

ADWD Jon III: Bowen Marsh lost a part of his ear at the Bridge of Skulls and this changes him as he becomes even more stubborn to Jon’s openness to allowing the Wildlings through.

Bowen Marsh edged his mount up next to Jon's. "This is a day I never thought to see." The Lord Steward had thinned notably since suffering a head wound at the Bridge of Skulls. Part of one ear was gone. He no longer looks much like a pomegranate, Jon thought. Marsh said, "We bled to stop the wildlings at the Gorge. Good men were slain there, friends and brothers. For what?"

From the wiki:

Mance Rayder leads the gathered free folk south to attack the Wall. In order to draw away the defenders from Castle Black, Mance sends raiding parties to attack several areas of the Wall to draw attention away from the main host. First Steward Bowen Marsh, the castellan of Castle Black, takes the bait and, with the majority of the men at Castle Black, sets off after the raiding party that is attacking the Shadow Tower.

While the main strength is away from Castle Black, the gate beneath the Wall is lightly defended which would allow Mance to assault the gate and try to break through the Wall.

Bowen Marsh corners the Weeper and three hundred wildlings on the Bridge of Skulls. It is a bloody battle, with a hundred brothers of the Night's Watch slain in the engagement. It is unknown what the wildling casualties are.[3]

Bowen Marsh is seriously wounded in the battle and has to be carried to the Shadow Tower in a litter. Ser Endrew Tarth and Ser Aladale Wynch are slain in the battle. This delays the return of the garrison to Castle Black, which is under assault from the main wildling force.[3]

ADWD Ghost of Winterfell—Hosteen Frey lost an ear to frostbite because he didn’t listen to warnings about the weather.

Endless, ceaseless, merciless, the snow had fallen day and night. Drifts climbed the walls and filled the crenels along the battlements, white blankets covered every roof, tents sagged beneath the weight. Ropes were strung from hall to hall to help men keep from getting lost as they crossed the yards. Sentries crowded into the guard turrets to warm half-frozen hands over glowing braziers, leaving the wallwalks to the snowy sentinels the squires had thrown up, who grew larger and stranger every night as wind and weather worked their will upon them. Ragged beards of ice grew down the spears clasped in their snowy fists. No less a man than Hosteen Frey, who had been heard growling that he did not fear a little snow, lost an ear to frostbite.

AGOT Daenerys VIII Qotho & Jorah. Qotho doesn’t listen and Jorah can’t hear Dany’s protests.

Ser Jorah brought his longsword down with all the strength left him, through flesh and muscle and bone, and Qotho's forearm dangled loose, flopping on a thin cord of skin and sinew. The knight's next cut was at the Dothraki's ear, so savage that Qotho's face seemed almost to explode.

… later ...

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.

"The maegi," someone else said. Was that Aggo? "Take her to the maegi."

No, Dany wanted to say, no, not that, you mustn't, but when she opened her mouth, a long wail of pain escaped, and the sweat broke over her skin. What was wrong with them, couldn't they see? Inside the tent the shapes were dancing, circling the brazier and the bloody bath, dark against the sandsilk, and some did not look human. She glimpsed the shadow of a great wolf, and another like a man wreathed in flames.

No, she shouted, or perhaps she only thought it, for no whisper of sound escaped her lips. She was being carried. Her eyes opened to gaze up at a flat dead sky, black and bleak and starless. Please, no. The sound of Mirri Maz Duur's voice grew louder, until it filled the world. The shapes! she screamed. The dancers!

...

Ser Jorah carried her inside the tent.

Wiki: After Drogo's injury, Daenerys intends to take her husband to the maegi Mirri Maz Duur to heal him, but Drogo's bloodriders, including Qotho, attempt to stop this from happening. Qotho kills Quaro in the ensuing fight and is in turn killed by Ser Jorah Mormont.

AFFC Sansa I—Mord. Tyrion struggles to get Mord to understand him.

The gaoler Mord came with him, a monstrous man with small black eyes and a lopsided, scarred face. One ear and part of his cheek had been cleaved off in some battle, but twenty stone of pallid white flesh remained.

Craster

"Be glad I didn't grudge you fire too." Craster was a thick man made thicker by the ragged smelly sheepskins he wore day and night. He had a broad flat nose, a mouth that drooped to one side, and a missing ear.

ASOS Jon I—Styr who had to be beaten three times by Mance before he’d listen and apparently he still isn’t listening well to Mance.

He might even have been comely if he'd had ears, but he had lost both along the way, whether to frostbite or some enemy's knife Jon could not tell. Their lack made the man's head seem narrow and pointed.

"Jon Snow, Your Grace." He wondered whether he was expected to bend the knee as well.

"Your Grace?" The earless man looked at the big white-bearded one. "You see. He takes me for a king."

From the wiki for Styr Magnar of Thenn Jon can’t tell how he lost them, but Tormund seems to imply that maybe he cut them off himself for advantage in battle?

Styr is a tall, lean man, with no ears. He is clean shaven and bald, with grey eyes and a straight nose.[1] He rules with an iron fist and commands absolute loyalty from his men.[2] Styr wears bronze scale armor and a helm and wields a weirwood spear with an ornate bronze head.[3]

Mance Rayder had to defeat Styr three times before the Magnar agreed to support him as King-beyond-the-Wall.[4]

When Rattleshirt brings Jon Snow to Mance Rayder, Jon thinks Styr is Mance, mistakenly calling him "Your Grace".[1]

As part of Mance's plan to breach the Wall, Styr, along with his co-commander Jarl and his men, is sent ahead to scale the Wall and take Castle Black by surprise from the rear. After scaling the wall, Jon, who is assigned to Styr's raiding party, betrays them at Queenscrown[5] and warns the Night's Watch of the coming attack.[6]

Styr and his men die in Battle of Castle Black. Caught in a trap while climbing the Wall, he is seen falling as a portion of the Wall collapsed.[3]

"Har!" said Tormund. "Well, I never had much use for Styr. When a man's got no beard nor hair nor ears, you can't get a good grip on him when you fight."

 

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1 hour ago, Castellan said:

GRRM uses the red mouth of people who chew sour leaf as an image of impending death, or warning of death. He does it in the hedge knight, in the story about Lady Rohan, he sees his nasty colleague with a red mouth before any of the trouble starts I think, and I think he later sees all the boy recruits to their ragtag fighting group chewing it. I don't think they do die though, as Dunk finds another way round the problem.

In ASOIF I think its Masha Heddle who has it in the only scene we see her in, and she is later killed on Tywin's orders. Hope I have got this correct, should have checked.

The image of a 'red smile' is the same image often used for a cut throat.

PS I search red smile in a search of ice and fire...

 

  Reveal hidden contents

 

A Game of Thrones - Catelyn V 

 
 She still remembered the innkeep, a fat woman named Masha Heddle who chewed sourleaf night and day and seemed to have an endless supply of smiles and sweet cakes for the children. The sweet cakes had been soaked with honey, rich and heavy on the tongue, but how Catelyn had dreaded those smiles. The sourleaf had stained Masha's teeth a dark red, and made her smile a bloody horror.
 
...
 
It was near dark when they reached it, at the crossroads north of the great confluence of the Trident. Masha Heddle was fatter and greyer than Catelyn remembered, still chewing her sourleaf, but she gave them only the most cursory of looks, with nary a hint of her ghastly red smile. "Two rooms at the top of the stair, that's all there is," she said, chewing all the while. 
 
[but she does smile at Tyrion] 
 
Masha Heddle was bowing and smiling her hideous red smile. "I'm sorry, m'lord, truly, we're full up, every room."
 

A Game of Thrones - Tyrion IV 

"It might be said that your death is the point, Lannister," Catelyn Stark replied.
"I think not," Tyrion said. "If you wanted me dead, you had only to say the word, and one of these staunch friends of yours would gladly have given me a redsmile." He looked at Kurleket, but the man was too dim to taste the mockery. 
"The Starks do not murder men in their beds."
 

A Game of Thrones - Tyrion VII 

Shagga was gaping back; beyond a certainty, he had never seen so many men, horses, and weapons in all his days. The rest of the mountain brigands did a better job of guarding their faces, but Tyrion had no doubts that they were full as much in awe. Better and better. The more impressed they were with the power of the Lannisters, the easier they would be to command.
 
The inn and its stables were much as he remembered, though little more than tumbled stones and blackened foundations remained where the rest of the village had stood. A gibbet had been erected in the yard, and the body that swung there was covered with ravens. At Tyrion's approach they took to the air, squawking and flapping their black wings. He dismounted and glanced up at what remained of the corpse. The birds had eaten her lips and eyes and most of her cheeks, baring her stained red teeth in a hideous smile. "A room, a meal, and a flagon of wine, that was all I asked," he reminded her with a sigh of reproach.
 

A Game of Thrones - Eddard XIII 

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.
"Stinks," Robert said. "The stink of death, don't think I can't smell it. Bastard did me good, eh? But I … I paid him back in kind, Ned." The king's smile was as terrible as his wound, his teeth red. "Drove a knife right through his eye. Ask them if I didn't. Ask them."
 
...
 
Robert managed a weak red smile. "At the least, they will say … this last thing … this I did right. You won't fail me. You'll rule now. You'll hate it, worse than I did … but you'll do well. Are you done with the scribbling?"
 

A Clash of Kings - Arya III 

"I don't care. I want to go home."
"Been bringing men to the Wall for close on thirty years." Froth shone on Yoren's lips, like bubbles of blood. "All that time, I only lost three. Old man died of a fever, city boy got snakebit taking a shit, and one fool tried to kill me in my sleep and got a red smile for his trouble." He drew the dirk across his throat, to show her. "Three in thirty years." He spat out the old sourleaf. "A ship now, might have been wiser. No chance o' finding more men on the way, but still . . . clever man, he'd go by ship, but me . . . thirty years I been taking this kingsroad." He sheathed his dirk. "Go to sleep, boy. Hear me?"
 

A Storm of Swords - Catelyn III 

"Leave him!" Robb's voice rang with command. Umber stepped back away from the captive.
 
Lord Karstark spit out a broken tooth. "Yes, Lord Umber, leave me to the king. He means to give me a scolding before he forgives me. That's how he deals with treason, our King in the North." He smiled a wet red smile. "Or should I call you the King Who Lost the North, Your Grace?"
 

A Storm of Swords - Sansa VI 

"The hidden dagger."
 
"There's a clever girl." He smiled, his thin lips bright red from the pomegranate seeds. "When the Imp sent off her guards, the queen had Ser Lancel hire sellswords for her. Lancel found her the Kettleblacks, which delighted your little lord husband, since the lads were in his pay through his man Bronn." He chuckled. "But it was me who told Oswell to get his sons to King's Landing when I learned that Bronn was looking for swords. Three hidden daggers, Alayne, now perfectly placed." 
"So one of the Kettleblacks put the poison in Joff's cup?" Ser Osmund had been near the king all night, she remembered.
 

A Feast for Crows - Brienne II 

"I am looking for my sister. She's highborn, only three-and-ten, a pretty maid with blue eyes and auburn hair. You may have seen her traveling with a man. A knight, perhaps a fool. There's gold for the man who helps me find her."
"Gold?" The brother gave her a red smile. "A bowl of that crab stew would be enough reward for me, but I fear I cannot help you. Fools I've met, and plenty, but not so many pretty maids." He cocked his head and thought a moment. "There was a fool at Maidenpool, now that I think of it. He was clad in rags and dirt, as near as I could tell, but under the dirt was motley."
 

A Feast for Crows - Cersei III 

(at Tommen's wedding)
"What a disappointment," Lady Olenna complained loudly. "I was hoping for 'The Rains of Castamere.'"
 
Whenever Cersei looked at the old crone, the face of Maggy the Frog seemed to float before her eyes, wrinkled and terrible and wise. All old women look alike, she tried to tell herself, that's all it is. In truth, the bent-back sorceress had looked nothing like the Queen of Thorns, yet somehow the sight of Lady Olenna's nasty little smile was enough to put her back in Maggy's tent again. She could still remember the smell of it, redolent with queer eastern spices, and the softness of Maggy's gums as she sucked the blood from Cersei's finger. Queen you shall be, the old woman had promised, with her lips still wet and redand glistening, until there comes another, younger and more beautiful, to cast you down and take all that you hold dear.
 

A Feast for Crows - Samwell V 

"Kill him?" Sam said, shocked. "Why?"
"If I tell you, they may need to kill you too." Marywn smiled a ghastly smile, the juice of the sourleaf running red between his teeth. "Who do you think killed all the dragons the last time around? Gallant dragonslayers armed with swords?" He spat. "The world the Citadel is building has no place in it for sorcery or prophecy or glass candles, much less for dragons. Ask yourself why Aemon Targaryen was allowed to waste his life upon the Wall, when by rights he should have been raised to archmaester. His blood was why. He could not be trusted. No more than I can." 
"What will you do?" asked Alleras, the Sphinx.
 

A Dance with Dragons - A Ghost in Winterfell 

Aenys Frey's mouth quivered with outrage. "Stark dishonored us. That is what you northmen had best remember."
Roose Bolton rubbed at his chapped lips. "This squabbling will not serve." He flicked his fingers at Theon. "You are free to go. Take care where you wander. Else it might be you we find upon the morrow, smiling a red smile." 
 
 

 

Yeah, the red mouth, bloody mouth, the red smile and the sourleaf mouth have a rather complex meaning. I haven't figured the pattern yet, though the link to murder, or maybe someone's intention to murder, looks quite clear. In contrast, ear wounds or amputations might be a clear indication of not listening (stubbornness, arrogance whatever), not being able to hear, or not being able to understand.

Throats are sometimes slashed "ear to ear" further invoking red smile imagery, but it includes an implied injury to the ears.

 

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7 minutes ago, Lollygag said:

Yeah, the red mouth, bloody mouth, the red smile and the sourleaf mouth have a rather complex meaning. I haven't figured the pattern yet, though the link to murder, or maybe someone's intention to murder, looks quite clear. In contrast, ear wounds or amputations might be a clear indication of not listening (stubbornness, arrogance whatever), not being able to hear, or not being able to understand.

 

Throats are sometimes slashed "ear to ear" further invoking red smile imagery, but it includes an implied injury to the ears.

 

 

 

The sour leaf smile definitely seems to foreshadow the death of the person smiling ... it looks the same as people with actual injuries which put blood in their mouths, like Robert and Rickard. Its really made obvious with Marsha Heddle. Yoren, and the dwarf Septon later killed for Cersei's reward also smile the sour leaf smile. So far, Marwyn is the character with a sour leaf smile who hasn't died yet. 

I think red lips may indicate a predatory attitude, intention to kill - Petyr has smiled like that at Sansa, Maggy at Ceersei, the lips are portrayed as wet with redness.

 

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21 minutes ago, Castellan said:

The sour leaf smile definitely seems to foreshadow the death of the person smiling ... it looks the same as people with actual injuries which put blood in their mouths, like Robert and Rickard. Its really made obvious with Marsha Heddle. Yoren, and the dwarf Septon later killed for Cersei's reward also smile the sour leaf smile. So far, Marwyn is the character with a sour leaf smile who hasn't died yet. 

I think red lips may indicate a predatory attitude, intention to kill - Petyr has smiled like that at Sansa, Maggy at Ceersei, the lips are portrayed as wet with redness.

 

I do agree. I just keep running into weirdo passages which seem to deviate and it's throwing me. Here Arya is chewing sourleaf, but she's treated as a character with a bloody mouth in that she's quite serious about killing Joff here. Actually she's always serious about that!

ACOK Arya I

The common room was long and drafty, with a row of huge wooden kegs at one end and a fireplace at the other. A serving boy ran back and forth with skewers of meat while Masha drew beer from the kegs, chewing her sourleaf all the while.

"Joffrey," Arya breathed. "Someone should kill him!"

"Someone will, but it won't be me, nor you neither." Yoren tossed back her stick sword. "Got sourleaf back at the wagons," he said as they made their way back to the road. "You'll chew some, it'll help with the sting."

It did help, some, though the taste of it was foul and it made her spit look like blood.

And here is Emmon Frey who is addicted to sourleaf. I don't doubt at all that Stoneheart has the Frey holding Riverrun in her sights, but this speaks to Emmon's serious intent to kill Edmure.

AFFC Jaime VII

Lord Emmon rubbed his mouth. His hand came away red and slimy from the sourleaf. "To be sure. Riverrun is mine, and no man shall ever take it from me." He gave Edmure Tully one last suspicious look, as Lady Genna drew him from the solar.

 

...

The new Lord of Riverrun was so angry that he was shaking. "We have been deceived," he said. "This man has played us false!" Pink spittle flew from his lips as he jabbed a finger at Edmure Tully. "I will have his head off! I rule in Riverrun, by the king's own decree, I—"

These are all of the sourleaf (red smile) characters I've found.

1. Yoren (and Arya once)

2. Chett

3. Marwyn

4. Snatch (Tyrion ADWD)

5. Bennis (Sworn Sword)

6. It’s being loaded upon the ship Bride in Azure in Quarth. It’s also transporting wine and striped hides and is owned by the Thirteen.

7. Masha Heddle who ran the Inn at the Crossroads

8. The Pious dwarf Brienne meets

9. Emmon Frey

 

 

 

Edited by Lollygag

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Hmmm ... but in your three examples where it doesn't seem to be foreshadowing their own deaths, we don't actually get the classic image of their red smile. We get red spit which is more similar to the images of people with blood on their lips. Which definitely fits Arya and Jenny of Oldstones seeing death.

I don't know about Emmon - he is such a weak character- its true he'd like to see Edmure hung. Then again he could end up killing out of cowardice, if there is a sneak attack inside Riverun. I just had a flash of Genna losing her life because of his weakness - one last frustration of being married to him. I think she is doomed because Jaime let on to Tom o Sevens that she wears the pants, they will concentrate on seizing or killing her, I suspect.

There are more than just Bennis in the sworn sword, I will check. I also thought Nimble DIck, but he didn't come in my search, I will have another look.

Melisandre and Nym have red, but not wet or glistening lips. Its a combination of sexiness/bloodthirstiness. Nym is talking about revenge for Oberyn in the scene. Melisandre has red everything so it doesn't really count. There is also a scene with Sansa and Cersei where Sansa is still naive and Cersei is wearing a ruby encrusted bodice with rubies like bloody tears as part of a 'mourning' outfit. Class fairytale imagery.

 

Edited by Castellan

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2 hours ago, Lollygag said:

This requires a spreadsheet!

 

Ear issues which haven’t been mentioned yet (I think): Balerion the cat, the Syrio sees ear wounds on the Sealord’s cat (kitten fights),  Hyle Hunt has a scar by his ear as does Shadrich , and there’s Chella and the Black Ears who amputate ears and gain additional ears in the act. More below.

 

ADWD Iron Suitor—Wulfe One-Ear who doesn’t want to listen to Moqorro 

 

R'hllor. A red priest, then. Victarion had seen such men in foreign cities, tending their sacred fires. Those had worn rich red robes of silk and velvet and lambswool. This one was dressed in faded, salt-stained rags that clung to his thick legs and hung about his torso in tatters … but when the captain peered at the rags more closely, it did appear as if they might once have been red. "A pink priest," Victarion announced.

 

"A demon priest," said Wulfe One-Ear. He spat.

 

ADWD Jon III: Bowen Marsh lost a part of his ear at the Bridge of Skulls and this changes him as he becomes even more stubborn to Jon’s openness to allowing the Wildlings through.

 

Bowen Marsh edged his mount up next to Jon's. "This is a day I never thought to see." The Lord Steward had thinned notably since suffering a head wound at the Bridge of Skulls. Part of one ear was gone. He no longer looks much like a pomegranate, Jon thought. Marsh said, "We bled to stop the wildlings at the Gorge. Good men were slain there, friends and brothers. For what?"

 

From the wiki:

 

Mance Rayder leads the gathered free folk south to attack the Wall. In order to draw away the defenders from Castle Black, Mance sends raiding parties to attack several areas of the Wall to draw attention away from the main host. First Steward Bowen Marsh, the castellan of Castle Black, takes the bait and, with the majority of the men at Castle Black, sets off after the raiding party that is attacking the Shadow Tower.

 

While the main strength is away from Castle Black, the gate beneath the Wall is lightly defended which would allow Mance to assault the gate and try to break through the Wall.

 

Bowen Marsh corners the Weeper and three hundred wildlings on the Bridge of Skulls. It is a bloody battle, with a hundred brothers of the Night's Watch slain in the engagement. It is unknown what the wildling casualties are.[3]

 

Bowen Marsh is seriously wounded in the battle and has to be carried to the Shadow Tower in a litter. Ser Endrew Tarth and Ser Aladale Wynch are slain in the battle. This delays the return of the garrison to Castle Black, which is under assault from the main wildling force.[3]

 

ADWD Ghost of Winterfell—Hosteen Frey lost an ear to frostbite because he didn’t listen to warnings about the weather.

 

Endless, ceaseless, merciless, the snow had fallen day and night. Drifts climbed the walls and filled the crenels along the battlements, white blankets covered every roof, tents sagged beneath the weight. Ropes were strung from hall to hall to help men keep from getting lost as they crossed the yards. Sentries crowded into the guard turrets to warm half-frozen hands over glowing braziers, leaving the wallwalks to the snowy sentinels the squires had thrown up, who grew larger and stranger every night as wind and weather worked their will upon them. Ragged beards of ice grew down the spears clasped in their snowy fists. No less a man than Hosteen Frey, who had been heard growling that he did not fear a little snow, lost an ear to frostbite.

 

AGOT Daenerys VIII Qotho & Jorah. Qotho doesn’t listen and Jorah can’t hear Dany’s protests.

 

Ser Jorah brought his longsword down with all the strength left him, through flesh and muscle and bone, and Qotho's forearm dangled loose, flopping on a thin cord of skin and sinew. The knight's next cut was at the Dothraki's ear, so savage that Qotho's face seemed almost to explode.

 

… later ...

 

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.

 

"The maegi," someone else said. Was that Aggo? "Take her to the maegi."

 

No, Dany wanted to say, no, not that, you mustn't, but when she opened her mouth, a long wail of pain escaped, and the sweat broke over her skin. What was wrong with them, couldn't they see? Inside the tent the shapes were dancing, circling the brazier and the bloody bath, dark against the sandsilk, and some did not look human. She glimpsed the shadow of a great wolf, and another like a man wreathed in flames.

 

No, she shouted, or perhaps she only thought it, for no whisper of sound escaped her lips. She was being carried. Her eyes opened to gaze up at a flat dead sky, black and bleak and starless. Please, no. The sound of Mirri Maz Duur's voice grew louder, until it filled the world. The shapes! she screamed. The dancers!

 

...

 

Ser Jorah carried her inside the tent.

 

Wiki: After Drogo's injury, Daenerys intends to take her husband to the maegi Mirri Maz Duur to heal him, but Drogo's bloodriders, including Qotho, attempt to stop this from happening. Qotho kills Quaro in the ensuing fight and is in turn killed by Ser Jorah Mormont.

 

AFFC Sansa I—Mord. Tyrion struggles to get Mord to understand him.

 

The gaoler Mord came with him, a monstrous man with small black eyes and a lopsided, scarred face. One ear and part of his cheek had been cleaved off in some battle, but twenty stone of pallid white flesh remained.

 

Craster

 

"Be glad I didn't grudge you fire too." Craster was a thick man made thicker by the ragged smelly sheepskins he wore day and night. He had a broad flat nose, a mouth that drooped to one side, and a missing ear.

 

ASOS Jon I—Styr who had to be beaten three times by Mance before he’d listen and apparently he still isn’t listening well to Mance.

 

He might even have been comely if he'd had ears, but he had lost both along the way, whether to frostbite or some enemy's knife Jon could not tell. Their lack made the man's head seem narrow and pointed.

 

"Jon Snow, Your Grace." He wondered whether he was expected to bend the knee as well.

 

"Your Grace?" The earless man looked at the big white-bearded one. "You see. He takes me for a king."

 

From the wiki for Styr Magnar of Thenn Jon can’t tell how he lost them, but Tormund seems to imply that maybe he cut them off himself for advantage in battle?

 

Styr is a tall, lean man, with no ears. He is clean shaven and bald, with grey eyes and a straight nose.[1] He rules with an iron fist and commands absolute loyalty from his men.[2] Styr wears bronze scale armor and a helm and wields a weirwood spear with an ornate bronze head.[3]

 

Mance Rayder had to defeat Styr three times before the Magnar agreed to support him as King-beyond-the-Wall.[4]

 

When Rattleshirt brings Jon Snow to Mance Rayder, Jon thinks Styr is Mance, mistakenly calling him "Your Grace".[1]

 

As part of Mance's plan to breach the Wall, Styr, along with his co-commander Jarl and his men, is sent ahead to scale the Wall and take Castle Black by surprise from the rear. After scaling the wall, Jon, who is assigned to Styr's raiding party, betrays them at Queenscrown[5] and warns the Night's Watch of the coming attack.[6]

 

Styr and his men die in Battle of Castle Black. Caught in a trap while climbing the Wall, he is seen falling as a portion of the Wall collapsed.[3]

 

"Har!" said Tormund. "Well, I never had much use for Styr. When a man's got no beard nor hair nor ears, you can't get a good grip on him when you fight."

 

 

 

That's pretty convincing re earless = doesn't listen.

I would have just taken it as part of the decoration scheme for a cruel world. I was wondering how common earlessness was in brutal times. I'd have though horrible nose injuries more common - at least broken noses - or slashed faces. The again boxers used to have 'cauliflower ears'.

 

 

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46 minutes ago, Castellan said:

Hmmm ... but in your three examples where it doesn't seem to be foreshadowing their own deaths, we don't actually get the classic image of their red smile. We get red spit which is more similar to the images of people with blood on their lips. Which definitely fits Arya and Jenny of Oldstones seeing death.

I don't know about Emmon - he is such a weak character- its true he'd like to see Edmure hung. Then again he could end up killing out of cowardice, if there is a sneak attack inside Riverun. I just had a flash of Genna losing her life because of his weakness - one last frustration of being married to him. I think she is doomed because Jaime let on to Tom o Sevens that she wears the pants, they will concentrate on seizing or killing her, I suspect.

There are more than just Bennis in the sworn sword, I will check. I also thought Nimble DIck, but he didn't come in my search, I will have another look.

I'm at the point of thinking that sourleaf as red smiles and/or bloody mouths needs a very in-depth reading for proper interpretation. You might be right in that the red smile needs to be mentioned specifically. It's a difficult search topic as there are a number of words which can be used to express a character as having a bloody mouth so I don't doubt at all that I've missed some. In cases such as Yoren, Chett, Snatch, etc where characters appear for longer durations in the books, then the red smile itself however worded may appear in a completely different passage/chapter/book.

Interesting thought about Emmon possibly killing Genna. In another symbolic wound where the lion loses his mane, I noticed that Emmon's son Cleos Frey really relished using a dagger on Jamie's head. Maybe a conspiracy? Maybe the Lannister-Freys feel disrespected enough to act?

ASOS Jaime I

"You'd be shaved bald?" asked Cleos Frey.

"The realm knows Jaime Lannister as a beardless knight with long golden hair. A bald man with a filthy yellow beard may pass unnoticed. I'd sooner not be recognized while I'm in irons."

The dagger was not as sharp as it might have been. Cleos hacked away manfully, sawing and ripping his way through the mats and tossing the hair over the side. The golden curls floated on the surface of the water, gradually falling astern.

 

48 minutes ago, Castellan said:

Melisandre and Nym have red, but not wet or glistening lips. Its a combination of sexiness/bloodthirstiness. Nym is talking about revenge for Oberyn in the scene. Melisandre has red everything so it doesn't really count.

I didn't take whatever passes for red lipstick in Westeros as a variation of bloody lips but I've found it does. We know that Mel always has blood red lips, but it's actually not mentioned often so I think that when her red lips are brought up, it's to tell the reader that Mel has murder on her mind. It has interesting implications for Jon as it this seems to indicate that Mel changed her mind between ADWD Jon I and her POV later in the same book.

ASOS Davos I

"You are he who must stand against the Other. The one whose coming was prophesied five thousand years ago. The red comet was your herald. You are the prince that was promised, and if you fail the world fails with you." Melisandre went to him, her red lips parted, her ruby throbbing. "Give me this boy," she whispered, "and I will give you your kingdom."

 ACOK Prologue

She met him beneath the high table with every man's eyes upon them. But Cressen saw only her. Red silk, red eyes, the ruby red at her throat, red lips curled in a faint smile as she put her hand atop his own, around the cup. Her skin felt hot, feverish. "It is not too late to spill the wine, Maester."

"No," he whispered hoarsely. "No."

"As you will." Melisandre of Asshai took the cup from his hands and drank long and deep. There was only half a swallow of wine remaining when she offered it back to him. "And now you."

His hands were shaking, but he made himself be strong. A maester of the Citadel must not be afraid. The wine was sour on his tongue. He let the empty cup drop from his fingers to shatter on the floor. "He does have power here, my lord," the woman said. "And fire cleanses." At her throat, the ruby shimmered redly.

Cressen tried to reply, but his words caught in his throat. His cough became a terrible thin whistle as he strained to suck in air. Iron fingers tightened round his neck. As he sank to his knees, still he shook his head, denying her, denying her power, denying her magic, denying her god. And the cowbells peeled in his antlers, singing fool, fool, fool while the red woman looked down on him in pity, the candle flames dancing in her red red eyes.

ADWD Jon I

Jon could feel her heat, even through his wool and boiled leather. The sight of them arm in arm was drawing curious looks. They will be whispering in the barracks tonight. "If you can truly see the morrow in your flames, tell me when and where the next wildling attack will come." He slipped his arm free.

"R'hllor sends us what visions he will, but I shall seek for this man Tormund in the flames." Melisandre's red lips curled into a smile. "I have seen you in my fires, Jon Snow."

"Is that a threat, my lady? Do you mean to burn me too?"

 

 

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Oh dear!

Red lips  obsession - I once went to great effort to document all the nasty people with 'pale eyes'. Its a feature of Ilyn Payne who represents death and the Stranger, but also the Boltons, and a couple of others. 

Back to death and mutilation, Tyrion's mutilation seems especially cruel, though not as cruel as Brienne's. Tyrion after all receives it in a battle where he has used a cruel mass weapon to kill thousands. I always saw the various things that have happened to the Lannisters as a nasty lesson in pride from the author - and not such a bad thing, as those injured are still alive whereas Joffrey and Tywin were both simply dispatched.

But if there is some sort of symbolism re noses similar to what has been proposed for ears, would it have to do with 'poking your nose in'? Being a 'sticky beak'?

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Bite injuries sound interesting. Bites to the hand alone:

  • Lady Hornwood bites off her own fingers.
  • The Greatjon has two fingers bitten off by Grey Wind.
  • Nymeria 'nips eagerly' at the hand of Arya. (escaping needlework, AGOT)
  • Drogon bites Irri's hand. (in the ship's cabin, ASOS)
  • Ramsay's bitch Helicent took Reek's hand in her jaws, and 'worried it so fiercely Reek feared he might lose two more fingers.' (ADOD)

Some remarkable bites to the ear also (I expected more of these, but maybe they're hard to search for):

  • Brienne bit off Vargo Hoat's ear (turned lethally infected).
  • Stranger bit off the ear of the Quiet Isle stableman.
  • Syrio's Sealord's cat had both 'ears chewed away in kitten fights'.
  • Cat 'Balerion' has a chewed off ear.
  • Also Sweetrobin's mule. (Seriously, I don't believe in all this ear chewing.)

The biggest example has got to be Biter eating Brienne's cheek, but it's too early see how she has changed.

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Thanks everyone. I'm glad there's some interest in this. If anyone does want to work on a spreadsheet (google docs?) or if this can somehow fit in the wiki, maybe this thread can point the way. I find that I do like to communicate through posts in a thread, though, so this is fine for the time being.

On 9/1/2017 at 4:38 AM, Castellan said:

Peculiar as this is, I find it interesting. You might want to add in any mythological, or other literary associations. For example loss of Jaime's hand & the Norse God Tyr.

Notable injuries & mutiliations for you to categorise:

Brienne's cheek getting chewed and spat out by Biter. 

Vargo's ear bitten by Brienne - was dying of infection before he was slowly fricasseed.

. . .

Do you need a poisoning category for Tywin and Joffrey?

. . .

Excellent point about the mythological allusions. Those associations add a lot of depth to characters for those who know the legends of this earth.

Biting is an excellent category, as the subsequent posts reflect. There is a lot going on around mouths in general: people having their tongues cut out, people eating human flesh, spitting, biting, telling lies, singing, kissing. I suspect that the biting injuries will have to be analyzed in the context of other mouth-related imagery. GRRM also uses mouths as metaphors - gates, for instance.

If we look for a poisoning pattern, it would have to include Cressen, even though his death is somewhat self-inflicted. But since the poison is called The Strangler, do we need to look at deaths by strangulation alongside deaths by poison? If so, that would put Victarion's wife in this category. . . .

Your examples are all excellent.

On 9/1/2017 at 5:23 AM, 40 Thousand Skeletons said:

Off the top of my head, the most significant example is when Jon and Sam (and the other NW brothers) observe the bodies of Jafer Flowers and Othor. Jafer was killed from an axe blow to the neck, an axe suspiciously similar to the one Othor carried. And Othor was killed by a "rash" of wounds covering his neck, groin, and torso IIRC. It is ambiguous what caused these wounds. My speculation has long been that it was murderous ravens, and that the weirnet killed the men, sent them to the Wall, warged Ghost to lead the NW to the bodies, and used them for a false flag attack on LC Mormont.

I suspect that all of the early deaths at the hands of the wights or Others are significant. I assumed that Othor was stabbed by a bunch of wights as we saw with Ser Waymar Royce. He died and rose up again as a wight, killing Jafer Flowers who died and rose up again, going after the Lord Commander.

But I suspect that disembodied arm is really important in terms of linking Othor and his death to other characters with missing arms.

On 9/1/2017 at 7:51 AM, elder brother jonothor dar said:

Not amputated per say but I think you will like it

"The left side of his face was a ruin. His ear had been burned away; there was nothing left but a hole. His eye was still good, but all around it was a twisted mass of scar, slick black flesh hard as leather, pocked with craters and fissured by deep cracks that gleamed red and wet when he moved. Down by his jaw, you could see a hint of bone where the flesh had been seared away"

Theon is an interesting one, death by infection is very common (aided or unaided) but Theon lives in filth and suffers no ill effect physically.

Yes, I love it. I think Sandor's jaw revealed through his burned cheek has to be linked to some of the other cheek injuries, particularly the injury inflicted on Brienne.

Theon's injuries are shocking in both their viciousness and in the fact that he survived them. The castration is like the Unsullied, and there are other similarities between those soldiers and Theon. What could that mean?

On 9/1/2017 at 3:06 PM, Springwatch said:

Great topic. Nose injury would be a good start, because it happens to several characters with an ongoing story.

Yes, maybe the best way to be more systematic about this would be to focus first on injuries involving the five senses - eyes, ears, noses, tongues and finger tips? The touch sense would be difficult to define - we read about people's lips and nipples being cut off; really any flesh could be part of that sense. But we have noted that there are people who claim to have heightened senses, contrasting with people who lose these sensory organs. So that compare / contrast could help to get at the author's intent in inflicting these very specific injuries on disparate characters. On the other hand, Maester Aemon loses his eye sight due to old age and he seems to have heightened insights about what is going on nearby and in the world at large. So this kind of an analysis could be more complicated than it seems.

On 9/1/2017 at 4:31 PM, Manderly's Rat Cook said:

Turned into food:

The famous singer stew

The Frey pies

People Ramsay feeds to his dogs

Brienne's cheek

Arguably Vargo's ear

Osha's group of wildling being eaten by the direwolves 

Warged animals eating people (most notably Summer with Bran inside, and Arya's wolf dreams)

The mysterious "pork" provided by Coldhands.

Soldiers in Stannis's army eating the dead.

That's all I can think of for now (in this category) 

Thank you! Very good list. I suspect there are important hidden meanings in both the victims who become meat and the people (or animals) who make and eat the meat. I tried to put some thought into the Butcher King symbol that GRRM uses in several places. I suspect these "food deaths" are related to those butchers.

 

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On 9/1/2017 at 5:24 PM, Lollygag said:

I'm working on a topic about red and/or bloody lips or mouths. It's a very consistent indicator of the character's serious intent to murder in that moment. This is a nice example: Sansa is beaten and her lip becomes bloody. She almost kills Joff. Sandor cleans the blood from her mouth and "the moment was gone".

The bloody lips are a fascinating topic. As I mentioned earlier, I think it may be part of a much larger mouth motif. I'm thinking of the  weirwood at the wildling village called Whitetree, with the two skulls burned in its "mouth," for instance. There is a case of a weirwood "chewing" a human, to go with the many instances of humans chewing red leaves. But I will save some of these thoughts for your thread focused on bloody mouths. Sounds like a great discussion in the works!

On 9/1/2017 at 6:35 PM, Lollygag said:

Ear issues which haven’t been mentioned yet (I think): Balerion the cat, the Syrio sees ear wounds on the Sealord’s cat (kitten fights),  Hyle Hunt has a scar by his ear as does Shadrich , and there’s Chella and the Black Ears who amputate ears and gain additional ears in the act. More below.

ADWD Iron Suitor—Wulfe One-Ear who doesn’t want to listen to Moqorro 

ADWD Jon III: Bowen Marsh lost a part of his ear at the Bridge of Skulls and this changes him as he becomes even more stubborn to Jon’s openness to allowing the Wildlings through.

ADWD Ghost of Winterfell—Hosteen Frey lost an ear to frostbite because he didn’t listen to warnings about the weather.

AGOT Daenerys VIII Qotho & Jorah. Qotho doesn’t listen and Jorah can’t hear Dany’s protests.

Ser Jorah brought his longsword down with all the strength left him, through flesh and muscle and bone, and Qotho's forearm dangled loose, flopping on a thin cord of skin and sinew. The knight's next cut was at the Dothraki's ear, so savage that Qotho's face seemed almost to explode.

AFFC Sansa I—Mord. Tyrion struggles to get Mord to understand him.

The gaoler Mord came with him, a monstrous man with small black eyes and a lopsided, scarred face. One ear and part of his cheek had been cleaved off in some battle, but twenty stone of pallid white flesh remained.

Craster

"Be glad I didn't grudge you fire too." Craster was a thick man made thicker by the ragged smelly sheepskins he wore day and night. He had a broad flat nose, a mouth that drooped to one side, and a missing ear.

ASOS Jon I—Styr who had to be beaten three times by Mance before he’d listen and apparently he still isn’t listening well to Mance.

He might even have been comely if he'd had ears,

Thank you so much for these examples and the context. GRRM really does have an ear thing, doesn't he?

Your citation of the scene with Ser Jorah cutting off Qotho's arm was also an eye-opener for me. I had noted that it is a Dothraki guy who cuts off Jaime's arm, and I bet it's significant and parallel that Ser Jorah cuts off Qotho's arm. But why?

On 9/1/2017 at 7:38 PM, Lollygag said:

I do agree. I just keep running into weirdo passages which seem to deviate and it's throwing me. Here Arya is chewing sourleaf, but she's treated as a character with a bloody mouth in that she's quite serious about killing Joff here. Actually she's always serious about that!

ACOK Arya I

The common room was long and drafty, with a row of huge wooden kegs at one end and a fireplace at the other. A serving boy ran back and forth with skewers of meat while Masha drew beer from the kegs, chewing her sourleaf all the while.

"Joffrey," Arya breathed. "Someone should kill him!"

"Someone will, but it won't be me, nor you neither." Yoren tossed back her stick sword. "Got sourleaf back at the wagons," he said as they made their way back to the road. "You'll chew some, it'll help with the sting."

It did help, some, though the taste of it was foul and it made her spit look like blood.

If the mouth is a kind of gate, maybe you will need to consider the differences between putting red leaves in that gate (associated with weirwoods) and putting human flesh in that gate (cannibalism but also a stage necessary for rebirth - search on the statue of Trios for more information). In the AGoT direwolf re-read, we speculated that each of the Stark kids takes on some of the characteristics of the people their wolf bites: Grey Wind bites off the fingers of Great Jon Umber; Shaggydog bites Maester Luwin; Summer bites the Night's Watch deserter who threatens Bran; Ghost bites the leg of Qhorin Halfhand; Nymeria bites Joffrey; Lady bites no one.

You might also want to search on spit. Arya tells Hot Pie they should secretly spit in Amory Lorch's food. But then spit comes up in other contexts, including a spit roasting meat over a fire. (Each symbol is linked to a set of symbols in a long chain that never ends.)

On 9/1/2017 at 9:24 PM, Lollygag said:

In another symbolic wound where the lion loses his mane, I noticed that Emmon's son Cleos Frey really relished using a dagger on Jamie's head. Maybe a conspiracy? Maybe the Lannister-Freys feel disrespected enough to act?

I suspect that head-shaving or hair-cutting is also part of a symbolic rebirth. Dany's hair burns off when she hatches her dragons; Arya gets a hair cut from Yoren when she becomes Ary; Cersei is completely shaved by the Septas before her walk of shame. By contrast, Catelyn thinks, "Don't cut my hair! Ned loves my hair!" when she is slain, and she not only doesn't die but can't really move on and be reborn. She is just stuck in a decaying body, intent on revenge.

On 9/1/2017 at 10:59 PM, Castellan said:

Back to death and mutilation, Tyrion's mutilation seems especially cruel, . . . I always saw the various things that have happened to the Lannisters as a nasty lesson in pride from the author - and not such a bad thing, as those injured are still alive whereas Joffrey and Tywin were both simply dispatched.

But if there is some sort of symbolism re noses similar to what has been proposed for ears, would it have to do with 'poking your nose in'? Being a 'sticky beak'?

The reason I connected the nose amputation to Jon Snow's "You know nothing" reminders from Ygritte is that Penny struck me a fulfilling some of the same functions in Tyrion's arc that Ygritte filled in Jon's arc. Tyrion has a lot of book learning, but he doesn't know what life is like for small folk who have to worry about where their next meal will come from. He also hasn't traveled the way Penny has. But he keeps thinking of her as a kid and not really listening to her. So the missing nose symbolizes that he "knows" nothing about the things Penny has to teach him.

But it also contrasts him with the Hound, who says dogs (of which he is one) can smell a lie. So the two men in Sansa's love life (?) are opposites in terms of nose function.

16 hours ago, Springwatch said:

Bite injuries sound interesting. Bites to the hand alone:

  • Lady Hornwood bites off her own fingers.
  • The Greatjon has two fingers bitten off by Grey Wind.
  • Nymeria 'nips eagerly' at the hand of Arya. (escaping needlework, AGOT)
  • Drogon bites Irri's hand. (in the ship's cabin, ASOS)
  • Ramsay's bitch Helicent took Reek's hand in her jaws, and 'worried it so fiercely Reek feared he might lose two more fingers.' (ADOD)

Some remarkable bites to the ear also (I expected more of these, but maybe they're hard to search for):

  • Brienne bit off Vargo Hoat's ear (turned lethally infected).
  • Stranger bit off the ear of the Quiet Isle stableman.
  • Syrio's Sealord's cat had both 'ears chewed away in kitten fights'.
  • Cat 'Balerion' has a chewed off ear.
  • Also Sweetrobin's mule. (Seriously, I don't believe in all this ear chewing.)

The biggest example has got to be Biter eating Brienne's cheek, but it's too early see how she has changed.

These are excellent examples. Thank you.

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