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Black Crow

Heresy 203 and growing suspicions anent the Starks

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21 minutes ago, Tucu said:

She is from House Heddle, a house of landed knights. An ancestor appears in the Mystery Knight.

Ack! Somehow I forgot that. Thank you for the reminder.

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22 hours ago, The Snowfyre Chorus said:

But I struggle with this "name recognition" theory a little bit. Because, as best I can tell, the concepts of (1) bastardy and (2) surnames seem peculiarly non-wildling in origin and significance.

Neither of these things are really contradictory to the premise that JNR was raising; the former, specifically, actually goes toward the argument he is making. Because the Wildlings do not appear to have any particular taboo around bastardy, this isn't what prompts Ygritte's strong reaction, so there must be some other reason that she finds Jon Snow to be an "evil name."

The Wildlings don't need to attach any cultural significance to surnames, because in the scenario JNR suggests, Jon introducing himself as "Jon Snow" would be as strange as running across someone named "Garth Greenhand," or what have you. It's a name out of antiquity. In this case, the specific context is that she suddenly finds herself the hostage of a Crow who (theoretically) bears the name of a legendarily evil crow--thus, the flinch.

I still think it's more straightforward that, as you said, "Snow" is an unfortunate name north of the Wall in the same way that you wouldn't want to be named Jon Winter or Jon Blight, but I do think there's a case to be made that Ygritte characterizing the name as evil, rather than merely unlucky, might be rooted in something deeper.

Edited by Matthew.

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4 minutes ago, wolfmaid7 said:

However, the same problem exists going forward.If the Free folk do have a memory of the NK being named Jon Snow; shouldn't they seriously be tripping big time?

Yep, that's my big issue here as well; as of ADWD, some of the Free Folk are accepting Jon Snow as a leader, which isn't necessarily a contradiction, but I would think we would see some stronger reactions here, especially with Jon Snow becoming Lord Commander of the Watch.

This is why I'm inclined toward something of a "middle solution;" perhaps the Night's King was named Brandon Snow, or Edrick Snow, or something along those lines, and the "Snow" connection would still be enough for Ygritte to find the name evil. 

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1 hour ago, Matthew. said:

Neither of these things are really contradictory to the premise that JNR was raising

Well, actually I agree with you on that.  I guess my main point above was simply that neither of those concepts (bastardy, or surname) particularly support the premise either.  

Clearly, Ygritte does recognize the name "Jon Snow" in some significant way.  She flinches, and declares the name evil. On its face, her reaction itself offers no clear direct connection to Night's King, specifically. But your point here makes good sense to me:

1 hour ago, Matthew. said:

I do think there's a case to be made that Ygritte characterizing the name as evil, rather than merely unlucky, might be rooted in something deeper.

I'd just like something more substantial to support the connection to Night's King. Some kind of textual evidence, or logical reasoning. It's an attractive idea - Night's King certainly has an "evil" reputation, south of the Wall. But free folk and kneelers don't always agree on what constitutes "evil," and so (in my opinion, anyway) the mere possibility that NK was a bastard named "Snow" doesn't help much.

The thing to do, really, would be to explore other avenues to support the theory. It is an intriguing idea. So maybe I should just put on my thinking cap and test some things out.  :) 

 

Edited by The Snowfyre Chorus

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32 minutes ago, Matthew. said:

This is why I'm inclined toward something of a "middle solution;" perhaps the Night's King was named Brandon Snow, or Edrick Snow, or something along those lines, and the "Snow" connection would still be enough for Ygritte to find the name evil. 

Or, more generally, perhaps there is simply enough history with Lord Commanders named "Snow" that the free folk recognize the name as that of an enemy. 

That would be a reasonable explanation. But I think it's a natural inclination, on the part of the reader, to sense something more specifically relevant (and unstated) in that reaction by Ygritte. 

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19 minutes ago, The Snowfyre Chorus said:

Well, actually I agree with you on that.  I guess my main point above was simply that neither of those concepts (bastardy, or surname) particularly support the premise either.  

Clearly, Ygritte does recognize the name "Jon Snow" in some significant way.  She flinches, and declares the name evil. On it's face, her reaction itself offers no clear direct connection to Night's King, specifically. But your point here makes good sense to me:

I'd just like something more substantial to support the connection to Night's King. Some kind of textual evidence, or logical reasoning. It's an attractive idea - Night's King certainly has an "evil" reputation, south of the Wall. But free folk and kneelers don't always agree on what constitutes "evil," and so (in my opinion, anyway) the mere possibility that NK was a bastard named "Snow" doesn't help much.

The thing to do, really, would be to explore other avenues to support the theory. It is an intriguing idea. So maybe I should just put on my thinking cap and test some things out.  :) 

 

We have some bits that points to the NK being a Brandon Snow. In some version of the tales the NK is named Brandon and is brother of Brandon the Breaker. If they are brothers, one of them has to be a Snow unless Brandon the Breaker took the name afterwards.

Edited by Tucu

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1 hour ago, Tucu said:

In some version of the tales the NK is named Brandon and is brother of Brandon the Breaker.

To paraphrase Monty Python:

"I'm Brandon!"

"I'm Brandon!"

"I'm Brandon, and so's my wife!"

To a certain extent, I view the name "Brandon" as a simple stand-in name for members of house Stark.  You know: Highgarden had its Garths, Storm's End had its Durrans, and Winterfell has its Brandons.

"What was the name of Night's King, again?"

"Hang on a minute, I'll look it up. Well, erm... that's odd. It doesn't say. This record is slightly... destroyed."

"Nan-bo says he was a Stark."

"Oh. Well, must've been a Brandon then."

"Right. We'll call him Brandon... Snow. After all, he was rather a bastard."

Could be something there, I guess. I tend to discount the World book... but obviously there are possibilities.

Edited by The Snowfyre Chorus
for editing's sake.

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1 hour ago, Matthew. said:

Yep, that's my big issue here as well; as of ADWD, some of the Free Folk are accepting Jon Snow as a leader, which isn't necessarily a contradiction, but I would think we would see some stronger reactions here, especially with Jon Snow becoming Lord Commander of the Watch.

This is why I'm inclined toward something of a "middle solution;" perhaps the Night's King was named Brandon Snow, or Edrick Snow, or something along those lines, and the "Snow" connection would still be enough for Ygritte to find the name evil. 

Maybe but there is that pesky issue again.

Is the name "Snow" by itself meaningful to them in that way?

They don't seem to have an averse reaction to "Snow" I mean if the dead weren't driving them toward the wall,would they be running South.

I don't think so..Snow is their life and I don't think they view it Or someone just called X Snow as evil.

That is why I think I am trying to reconcile this in my head and at the end if it I have:

Possibility of some members of the Wildlings having a hand in Jon's assassination or attempted assassination.

If Ygritte is not the only one who got freaked by the name drop how would some feel with this dude having an evil name plus all the other things that might have freaked them out about Jon.

Ygritte seemed to go out of her way to emphasize he is a bastard of WF to Mance vs his name.Its almost as if she overlooked his name because of the WF connection.

 

1 hour ago, The Snowfyre Chorus said:

Well, actually I agree with you on that.  I guess my main point above was simply that neither of those concepts (bastardy, or surname) particularly support the premise either.  

Clearly, Ygritte does recognize the name "Jon Snow" in some significant way.  She flinches, and declares the name evil. On its face, her reaction itself offers no clear direct connection to Night's King, specifically. But your point here makes good sense to me:

I'd just like something more substantial to support the connection to Night's King. Some kind of textual evidence, or logical reasoning. It's an attractive idea - Night's King certainly has an "evil" reputation, south of the Wall. But free folk and kneelers don't always agree on what constitutes "evil," and so (in my opinion, anyway) the mere possibility that NK was a bastard named "Snow" doesn't help much.

The thing to do, really, would be to explore other avenues to support the theory. It is an intriguing idea. So maybe I should just put on my thinking cap and test some things out.  :) 

 

Well,I smell an exercise coming.

From a cultural standpoint Ygritte has no reason to think the name evil.

1.They have no qualms regarding bastards.

2.They don't seem to resent where they live in general either.Minus the threat of the dead life beyond the wall is liberty.

3.We see another pivot that is important,that is Jon being a bastard from WF.Ygritte finds common ground with a tale of kinship.

So, from where I sit the evil of the name is extrinsic from the above.

From their historical standpoint its possible Jon Snow was an evil LC of the NW who sacrificed kids. That is all they may have known.

But Old Nan' s story could indicate his lineage.But with Snow being the name of a bastard of the North;he could be a Stark bastard or a Bolton for all we know.

All "why" aside .The only link is the name itself.Jon Snow.

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Quote

A Dance with Dragons - Jon I

"I have a name, Your Grace."

"Snow. Was ever a name more ill-omened?" Stannis touched his sword hilt. "Just who do you imagine that you are?"

It's strange that Stannis should say the Jon's name is ill-omened; something that foreshadows some future event.  Jaime makes a point of telling us the Snow is such a white name:

Quote

A Clash of Kings - Catelyn VII

"No, that wasn't it." Jaime Lannister upended the flagon. A trickle ran down onto his face, bright as blood. "Snow, that was the one. Such a white name . . . like the pretty cloaks they give us in the Kingsguard when we swear our pretty oaths."

Also astonishing is Patchface's pronouncement when he see Jon declaring that the crows are white as snow:

Quote

A Dance with Dragons - Jon XI

They found Her Grace sewing by the fire, whilst her fool danced about to music only he could hear, the cowbells on his antlers clanging. "The crow, the crow," Patchface cried when he saw Jon. "Under the sea the crows are white as snow, I know, I know, oh, oh, oh." Princess Shireen was curled up in a window seat, her hood drawn up to hide the worst of the greyscale that had disfigured her face.

That conjures up images of the white shadows and pale flesh white as new-fallen snow:

Quote

A Game of Thrones - Prologue

The Others made no sound.

Will saw movement from the corner of his eye. Pale shapes gliding through the wood. He turned his head, glimpsed a white shadow in the darkness. Then it was gone. Branches stirred gently in the wind, scratching at one another with wooden fingers. Will opened his mouth to call down a warning, and the words seemed to freeze in his throat. Perhaps he was wrong. Perhaps it had only been a bird, a reflection on the snow, some trick of the moonlight. What had he seen, after all?

A Game of Thrones - Prologue

A shadow emerged from the dark of the wood. It stood in front of Royce. Tall, it was, and gaunt and hard as old bones, with flesh pale as milk. Its armor seemed to change color as it moved; here it was white as new-fallen snow, there black as shadow, everywhere dappled with the deep grey-green of the trees. The patterns ran like moonlight on water with every step it took.

I've wondered if the crows white as snow are actually, men of the Night's Watch re-purposed as White Walkers since Benjen tells us that men have gone missing.  The Wildlings certainly know more about them at this point than the NW.   Snow seems a  more appropriate name for a King of Winter than Stark.  We don't know what a snark is yet although it's a good bet that Coldhands is a grumkin.  :D

Edited by LynnS

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8 minutes ago, LynnS said:

It's strange that Stannis should say the Jon's name is ill-omened; something that foreshadows some future event.  Jaime makes a point of telling us the Snow is such a white name:

Also astonishing is Patchface's pronouncement when he see Jon declaring that the crows are white as snow:

That conjures up images of the white shadows and pale flesh white as new-fallen snow:

I've wondered if the crows white as snow are actually, men of the Night's Watch re-purposed as White Walkers since Benjen tells us that men have gone missing.  The Wildlings certainly know more about them at this point than the NW.   Snow seems a  more appropriate name for a King of Winter than Stark.  We don't know what a snark is yet although it's a good bet that Coldhands is a grumkin.  :D

To add to the white shadows references: only Ghost, the WW and the kingsguard have been described as white shadows in the books

"They walked, with Ghost pacing along beside Jon like a white shadow."

"Joffrey was galloping at his side, whey-faced, with Ser Mandon Moore a white shadow on his left."

"His two white shadows were always with him; Balon Swann and Mandon Moore"

"Dany glimpsed Ser Barristan sliding closer, a white shadow at her side"

"Ghost padded after him, a white shadow at his side."

"Ghost ran with them, a white shadow at Jon's side."

"Ghost bounded toward the trees, slipped between two white-cloaked pines, and vanished in a cloud of snow. He wants to hunt, but what? Jon did not fear for the direwolf so much as for any wildlings he might encounter. A white wolf in a white wood, silent as a shadow"

In similar way that GRRM tells us that darkness is neither good nor evil (opposing Mel's dualistic view), we get references to white shadows being both enemies and protectors.

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I don't know about Crows being re-purposed as white walkers; rather it might be the other way around. We've talked before about the dodgy list of Lord Commanders covering up a change in the Watch, with an original Watch [13 strong?] charged with guarding the Black Gate being replaced by the present on the overthrow of the Nights King.

Perhaps therefore the original Watch were white walkers who were the replaced by Black ones

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15 hours ago, Black Crow said:

I don't know about Crows being re-purposed as white walkers; rather it might be the other way around. We've talked before about the dodgy list of Lord Commanders covering up a change in the Watch, with an original Watch [13 strong?] charged with guarding the Black Gate being replaced by the present on the overthrow of the Nights King.

Perhaps therefore the original Watch were white walkers who were the replaced by Black ones

The Others take your eyes. A common idiom.  What if Symeon Star-Eyes had his eyes taken by the others?

Quote

A Game of Thrones - Bran VII

"There was a knight once who couldn't see," Bran said stubbornly, as Ser Rodrik went on below. "Old Nan told me about him. He had a long staff with blades at both ends and he could spin it in his hands and chop two men at once."

"Symeon Star-Eyes," Luwin said as he marked numbers in a book. "When he lost his eyes, he put star sapphires in the empty sockets, or so the singers claim. Bran, that is only a story, like the tales of Florian the Fool. A fable from the Age of Heroes." The maester tsked. "You must put these dreams aside, they will only break your heart."

But is it really from the age of heroes?

Quote

A Storm of Swords - Jon VII

The first time he had seen Castle Black with his own eyes, Jon had wondered why anyone would be so foolish as to build a castle without walls. How could it be defended?

"It can't," his uncle told him. "That is the point. The Night's Watch is pledged to take no part in the quarrels of the realm. Yet over the centuries certain Lords Commander, more proud than wise, forgot their vows and near destroyed us all with their ambitions. Lord Commander Runcel Hightower tried to bequeathe the Watch to his bastard son. Lord Commander Rodrik Flint thought to make himself King-beyond-the-Wall. Tristan Mudd, Mad Marq Rankenfell, Robin Hill . . . did you know that six hundred years ago, the commanders at Snowgate and the Nightfort went to war against each other? And when the Lord Commander tried to stop them, they joined forces to murder him? The Stark in Winterfell had to take a hand . . . and both their heads. Which he did easily, because their strongholds were not defensible. The Night's Watch had nine hundred and ninety-six Lords Commander before Jeor Mormont, most of them men of courage and honor . . . but we have had cowards and fools as well, our tyrants and our madmen. We survive because the lords and kings of the Seven Kingdoms know that we pose no threat to them, no matter who should lead us. Our only foes are to the north, and to the north we have the Wall."

I seems the Stark in Winterfell is the ultimate authority governing the Wall.  Were the commanders at Snowgate and the Nightfort hellhounds?

Quote

A Storm of Swords - Bran IV

Jojen gazed up at him with his dark green eyes. "There's nothing here to hurt us, Your Grace."

Bran wasn't so certain. The Nightfort had figured in some of Old Nan's scariest stories. It was here that Night's King had reigned, before his name was wiped from the memory of man. This was where the Rat Cook had served the Andal king his prince-and-bacon pie, where the seventy-nine sentinels stood their watch, where brave young Danny Flint had been raped and murdered. This was the castle where King Sherrit had called down his curse on the Andals of old, where the 'prentice boys had faced the thing that came in the night, where blind Symeon Star-Eyes had seen the hellhounds fighting. Mad Axe had once walked these yards and climbed these towers, butchering his brothers in the dark.

Symeon and Aemon Dragonknight are always mentioned together; upheld as true knights.

Quote

A Clash of Kings - Sansa V

"True knights would never harm women and children." The words rang hollow in her ears even as she said them.

"True knights." The queen seemed to find that wonderfully amusing. "No doubt you're right. So why don't you just eat your broth like a good girl and wait for Symeon Star-Eyes and Prince Aemon the Dragonknight to come rescue you, sweetling. I'm sure it won't be very long now."

This seems to be Jon Snark's character arc vis-a-vis Ramsey and Winterfell. 

 

 

Edited by LynnS

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2 hours ago, LynnS said:

The Others take your eyes. A common idiom.  What if Symeon Star-Eyes had his eyes taken by the others?

I'm still more inclined to see Symeon as one of the blue-eyed lot and the story of his eyes being sapphires rather than merely being "blue as sapphires" as explaining away how a popular hero was actually one of the blue-eyed lot.

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57 minutes ago, Black Crow said:

I'm still more inclined to see Symeon as one of the blue-eyed lot and the story of his eyes being sapphires rather than merely being "blue as sapphires" as explaining away how a popular hero was actually one of the blue-eyed lot.

I don't consider them to be star sapphires either, but eyes like blue stars.  Which means he is one of the others; perhaps even one of the White Walkers since wights don't have any ability to observe and tell the tale.  Same with the stories Serwyn Mirror Shield.  White Walkers and their glamored armor come to mind.

Quote

A Dance with Dragons - Daenerys VII

Beside her, Daario Naharis was sleeping as peacefully as a newborn babe. He had a gift for sleeping, he'd boasted, smiling in that cocksure way of his. In the field, he would sleep in the saddle oft as not, he claimed, so as to be well rested should he come upon a battle. Sun or storm, it made no matter. "A warrior who cannot sleep soon has no strength to fight," he said. He was never vexed by nightmares either. When Dany told him how Serwyn of the Mirror Shield was haunted by the ghosts of all the knights he'd killed, Daario only laughed. "If the ones I killed come bother me, I will kill them all again." He has a sellsword's conscience, she realized then. That is to say, none at all.

 

   

Edited by LynnS

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34 minutes ago, LynnS said:

I don't consider them to be star sapphires either, but eyes like blue stars.  Which means he is one of the others; perhaps even one of the White Walkers since wights don't have any ability to observe and tell the tale.  Same with the stories Serwyn Mirror Shield.  White Walkers and their glamored armor come to mind.

Indeed, both stories suggest that long ago Ice and Fire were balanced.

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On 1/5/2018 at 7:30 AM, The Snowfyre Chorus said:

.I'm just not sure the Free Folk would understand it as a surname.  More likely, their story would refer to "John of the Snow" or some such - and Ygritte would simply make the obvious connection.

Ah, well just because surnames aren't used by the free folk doesn't mean they don't understand surnames.

We know this for sure because Ygritte and the free folk clearly understand the meaning of the surname Stark.  Here we find her addressing other wildlings:

Quote

Ygritte answered for him. "His name is Jon Snow. He is Eddard Stark's blood, of Winterfell." 

This seems quite conventional usage -- the sort of a thing a kneeler might say too -- and she speaks this way expecting it to be understood by other free folk. 

On 1/5/2018 at 11:41 AM, wolfmaid7 said:

I think it was brought up before but I wish there was some inclination of when the bastard sir names came into play.

It may be a continuity issue from a historical point,but its irking me.

Well, the myth doesn't specify the Night's King was a bastard... so it isn't essential that "Snow" meant "bastard" at that time, though it does now.  

Of course, all this is to one side, because all I'm discussing is what Ygritte thinks.  And what she thinks about the Night's King is not necessarily the same as the historical reality. 

This distinction between what characters think is really important in these books because GRRM is so tricksy.  For instance, if we asked "Why did the free folk try to find the Horn of Joramun?" we might answer it with this passage:

Quote

"I'm crying because we never found the Horn of Winter. We opened half a hundred graves and let all those shades loose in the world, and never found the Horn of Joramun to bring this cold thing down!"

That's what Ygritte thinks: it was all about knocking down the Wall.  Or this passage:

Quote

"But we never found the true horn, not for all our digging. If we had, every kneeler in your Seven Kingdoms would have chunks o' ice to cool his wine all summer."

And that's what Tormund thinks: the same as Ygritte.  

But we know they're wrong.  The historical reality is that Mance was running that show, and Mance had the free folk search for the horn for quite a different reason:

Quote

"I've come with my tail between my legs to hide behind your Wall." He touched the horn again. "If I sound the Horn of Winter, the Wall will fall. Or so the songs would have me believe. There are those among my people who want nothing more . . ."

"But once the Wall is fallen," Dalla said, "what will stop the Others?"

Mance gave her a fond smile. "It's a wise woman I've found. A true queen." 

So as a first step to assessing the Night's King, I am interested in what Ygritte thinks.... but I am also very conscious that her concept might be wrong.  It might not even be the same as that of the other free folk.

Edited by JNR

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2 hours ago, JNR said:

Ah, well just because surnames aren't used by the free folk doesn't mean they don't understand surnames.

 

Well there's that Mance Rayder for a start, but of course Osha doesn't reckon he hails from north of the Wall

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8 minutes ago, Black Crow said:

Well there's that Mance Rayder for a start, but of course Osha doesn't reckon he hails from north of the Wall

Nor does the Halfhand:

Quote

He was wildling born, taken as a child when some raiders were put to the sword.

And “Rayder,” as a surname, seems rather self-explanatory.  

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Yes, I've always guessed he was given the made-up last name "Rayder" as a child, by the Watch, exactly because his family were raiders... and they thought he needed a last name to fit in. 

In this, there's a good parallel with traditional profession-based last names like Baker, Miller, Butcher, Smith, etc., or in the Washington DC area, Liar or Thief.  

And these days, what with the new tax bill, "Raider" would make a lot of sense.  Freedom Caucus = Free Folk, etc.

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19 hours ago, JNR said:

This distinction between what characters think is really important in these books because GRRM is so tricksy.  For instance, if we asked "Why did the free folk try to find the Horn of Joramun?" we might answer it with this passage:

That's what Ygritte thinks: it was all about knocking down the Wall.  Or this passage:

And that's what Tormund thinks: the same as Ygritte.  

But we know they're wrong.  The historical reality is that Mance was running that show, and Mance had the free folk search for the horn for quite a different reason:

So as a first step to assessing the Night's King, I am interested in what Ygritte thinks.... but I am also very conscious that her concept might be wrong.  It might not even be the same as that of the other free folk.

Does anyone know why Mance was looking for the horn?  He clearly had no intent to bring down the Wall, and without doing so, could never prove the horn is the real deal.  If it was only meant as something he could use to threaten but not act on, the wildlings invested a lot of effort for a horn that was no better to Mance than the one Melisandre burned.  And if he found the horn, he'd run a very high risk that sooner or later someone would use it and bring down the Wall.  And why did Mance and the wildlings stop looking for the horn?

I can only think of 3 possibilities, from most to least likely: 

1) Mance was looking for something else.  It might just be something the wildlings wouldn't care about and he tricked them into helping him find it.  Or it might be something he doesn't want anyone to know he has.  They stopped looking for the horn once Mance found whatever it was he really wanted.

2) Mance wants the horn for a reason other than to bring down the Wall.  We've been told it can "wake giants from the Earth" and Joramun had it for reasons other than bringing down the Wall.

3) GRRM didn't put enough time into thinking this through.

Has anyone considered that Mance really did find the horn?  If Sam has it, it was lost for thousands of years and showed up as soon as Mance stopped looking for it.

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