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Black Crow

Heresy 203 and growing suspicions anent the Starks

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46 minutes ago, JNR said:

This is also possible. He might find out both that (a) Lyanna is his mother and (b) he is older than he thinks.  That would in turn open up all kinds of options in his head. 

I'm just saying if he only gets (a), and he buys it, and never gets (b), he's probably not going to think he's the product of incest.

Or he may also assume that Ned is still his father and that he lied about his age. 

I didn't take any offense.  I count on you to test the argument and add rigor.  :D

Edited by LynnS

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On another topic; I'm wondering why Gilly mistakes a wight for a white walker when Small Paul shows up:
 

Quote

A Storm of Swords - Samwell III

This is still a dream, Sam prayed. Oh, make it that I'm still asleep, make it a nightmare. He's dead, he's dead, I saw him die. "He's come for the babe," Gilly wept. "He smells him. A babe fresh-born stinks o' life. He's come for the life."

The huge dark shape stooped under the lintel, into the hall, and shambled toward them. In the dim light of the fire, the shadow became Small Paul.

 

Edited by LynnS

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48 minutes ago, LynnS said:

On another topic; I'm wondering why Gilly mistakes a wight for a white walker when Small Paul shows up:
 

I think that there are two options:

1. The temperature has plummeted and Gilly, understandably paranoid, simply assumes that its because the boy's brothers are come

or

2. She can see its a wight [despite it being no more than a dark shape] and knows that the undead are her nephews' servants

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2 hours ago, Black Crow said:

I think that there are two options:

1. The temperature has plummeted and Gilly, understandably paranoid, simply assumes that its because the boy's brothers are come

or

2. She can see its a wight [despite it being no more than a dark shape] and knows that the undead are her nephews' servants

3.  She has seen a wight before but not a white walker.

It's strange that the wights around the entrance of the greenseers cave were dormant until Bran's party practically walks on top of them.  While Small Paul seems to have been hunting Sam down like a blood hound.  Gilly's comment that he has come for 'the life' fits the story we're told about the white walkers.  So I wonder why Sam is being hunted and whether this has something to do with the objects he carries.  Dragonglass and the broken horn rather than Gilly's boy.

This is when Coldhands shows up and extracts a payment from Sam for 'the life' he owes him.

Quote

A Storm of Swords - Samwell IV

The living have no place at the feasts of the dead. It tore the heart from Sam to hold his silence then. Bran's not dead, Jon, he wanted to stay. He's with friends, and they're going north on a giant elk to find a three-eyed crow in the depths of the haunted forest. It sounded so mad that there were times Sam Tarly thought he must have dreamt it all, conjured it whole from fever and fear and hunger . . . but he would have blurted it out anyway, if he had not given his word.

Three times he had sworn to keep the secret; once to Bran himself, once to that strange boy Jojen Reed, and last of all to Coldhands. "The world believes the boy is dead," his rescuer had said as they parted. "Let his bones lie undisturbed. We want no seekers coming after us. Swear it, Samwell of the Night's Watch. Swear it for the life you owe me."

 

Coldhands seems to have all the characteristics of green man/faceless man.  Catelyn's description of the Stranger:

Quote

A Clash of Kings - Catelyn IV

Catelyn studied the faces. The Father was bearded, as ever. The Mother smiled, loving and protective. The Warrior had his sword sketched in beneath his face, the Smith his hammer. The Maid was beautiful, the Crone wizened and wise.

And the seventh face . . . the Stranger was neither male nor female, yet both, ever the outcast, the wanderer from far places, less and more than human, unknown and unknowable. Here the face was a black oval, a shadow with stars for eyes. It made Catelyn uneasy. She would get scant comfort there.

A description of the white walkers:

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A Game of Thrones - Prologue

The Other halted. Will saw its eyes; blue, deeper and bluer than any human eyes, a blue that burned like ice. They fixed on the longsword trembling on high, watched the moonlight running cold along the metal. For a heartbeat he dared to hope.

Behind him, to right, to left, all around him, the watchers stood patient, faceless, silent, the shifting patterns of their delicate armor making them all but invisible in the wood. Yet they made no move to interfere

The description of the white walkers fits the description of the Stranger. Catelyn goes on to say that Ned's gods are the nameless, faceless gods of the greenwood.

Quote

A Game of Thrones - Catelyn I

Catelyn had been anointed with the seven oils and named in the rainbow of light that filled the sept of Riverrun. She was of the Faith, like her father and grandfather and his father before him. Her gods had names, and their faces were as familiar as the faces of her parents. Worship was a septon with a censer, the smell of incense, a seven-sided crystal alive with light, voices raised in song. The Tullys kept a godswood, as all the great houses did, but it was only a place to walk or read or lie in the sun. Worship was for the sept.

For her sake, Ned had built a small sept where she might sing to the seven faces of god, but the blood of the First Men still flowed in the veins of the Starks, and his own gods were the old ones, the nameless, faceless gods of the greenwood they shared with the vanished children of the forest.

This is not describing weirwoods with faces but the faceless god, the stranger, the white walkers.  

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A Clash of Kings - Jon III

"What gods?" Jon was remembering that they'd seen no boys in Craster's Keep, nor men either, save Craster himself.

"The cold gods," she said. "The ones in the night. The white shadows."

And suddenly Jon was back in the Lord Commander's Tower again. A severed hand was climbing his calf and when he pried it off with the point of his longsword, it lay writhing, fingers opening and closing. The dead man rose to his feet, blue eyes shining in that gashed and swollen face. Ropes of torn flesh hung from the great wound in his belly, yet there was no blood.

So perhaps Gilly's boy is meant as payment in exchange for the life of a dead Stark or one who will soon die and become one of the cold gods?  

Why is Coldhands afraid of the white walkers?  Is the objective to take Jon and kill Bran?

 

Edited by LynnS

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22 minutes ago, LynnS said:

3.  She has seen a wight before but not a white walker.

Given her earlier conversation with Jon I'd rule that out. 

"The cold gods," she said. "The ones in the night. The white shadows."

While both wights and walkers have those starry blue eyes, the wights are not white shadows.

Conversely the reaction of Craster's wives to the warning about wights suggests that they have not encountered them before, whether in the middle of the night or not.

Edited by Black Crow

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As to Coldhands, as you know I believe that he is the Russian to Bloodraven's Kurz, and harbour a strong suspicion that just as Kurz with perhaps some help from the Russian, orchestrated the ambush just below the Inner Station, so Coldhands and Bloodraven orchestrated the ambush outside the cave in order to hasten the Scooby Gang inside - and keep them there.

Alternatively, if Coldhands is innocent, them I would say that the concern is for the Scooby Gang rather than his personal safety.

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4 minutes ago, Black Crow said:

As to Coldhands, as you know I believe that he is the Russian to Bloodraven's Kurz, and harbour a strong suspicion that just as Kurz with perhaps some help from the Russian, orchestrated the ambush just below the Inner Station, so Coldhands and Bloodraven orchestrated the ambush outside the cave in order to hasten the Scooby Gang inside - and keep them there.

Alternatively, if Coldhands is innocent, them I would say that the concern is for the Scooby Gang rather than his personal safety.

I do remember.  I'm trying to find a way into your proposition about the WW's as an out clause.   I find it interesting that Catelyn says that Ned's gods are faceless gods and that the stranger is faceless with eyes like stars.  That fits the description of the WW's.   Or they are the nameless, faceless gods of the greenwood which fits with Bran, Prince of the Greenwood/greenseer, Jojen, the Greendreamer and Coldhands the green man.  

There is a life for death proposition both with Craster's boys and Coldhands.

Edited by LynnS

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2 hours ago, Black Crow said:

?

Didn'y you propose that the starks became WW instead of ending up in the crypts?  That the WW were equivalent to dragons?  You called in an out clause.

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Ah, that get out clause!

By way of a recap: Varamyr believed that when a skinchanger's original body died the soul took refuge in a host, but couldn't then move on from there to another host and therefore experienced true death when that host died, if the soul had not already been absorbed into that of the host.

The get out clause may lie in the nature of white walkers and dragons. Both are the literally the embodiment of Ice and Fire. The walkers are Ice made flesh and the dragons are Fire made flesh. The white walkers, according to GRRM are created by magic and presumably the dragons also.

What I'm suggesting is that they were or are created to be immortal or near immortalbeen slain hosts for Stark and Targaryen souls and that in the Starks' case this was halted by the overthrow on the Nights King and the placing of cold iron swords on the statues to keep the souls in the bones.

Craster's sons, I don't know. Its possible that they are taken as a blood sacrifice, but it might also be the case that Craster himself carried the old Stark bloodline.

Ultimately, the point of all this is that if Jon has indeed been slain, he isn't necessarily trapped forever in Ghost as the Varamyr prologue suggests, but may have an out in treading lightly on the snow.

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1 hour ago, Black Crow said:

Ah, that get out clause!

By way of a recap: Varamyr believed that when a skinchanger's original body died the soul took refuge in a host, but couldn't then move on from there to another host and therefore experienced true death when that host died, if the soul had not already been absorbed into that of the host.

The get out clause may lie in the nature of white walkers and dragons. Both are the literally the embodiment of Ice and Fire. The walkers are Ice made flesh and the dragons are Fire made flesh. The white walkers, according to GRRM are created by magic and presumably the dragons also.

What I'm suggesting is that they were or are created to be immortal or near immortalbeen slain hosts for Stark and Targaryen souls and that in the Starks' case this was halted by the overthrow on the Nights King and the placing of cold iron swords on the statues to keep the souls in the bones.

Craster's sons, I don't know. Its possible that they are taken as a blood sacrifice, but it might also be the case that Craster himself carried the old Stark bloodline.

Ultimately, the point of all this is that if Jon has indeed been slain, he isn't necessarily trapped forever in Ghost as the Varamyr prologue suggests, but may have an out in treading lightly on the snow.

I can go with it.  If the WW/Stark link was broken when the Night's King was overthrown and the Stark kings and lords were warded in the crypts; that explains why Catelyn says that the gods of the Starks were the faceless, nameless gods of the greenwood.  The WW are faceless and perhaps remain so until they are given a face.

She also says that the nameless, faceless gods are the gods of the cotf.  I'm more inclined to think that the WW aren't Craster's boys since Patchface tells us that under the sea the crows are white as snow.

Perhaps there is a get out clause for the cotf given the way they camouflage themselves in the terrain.  The WW employ the same tactic mirroring the environment.

We have seen weirwood with carved eyes and mouths. Are they faceless?   We are given a glimpse of cotf enthroned or imprisoned in weirwood roots.  I don't suppose their trees have faces.  Or perhaps all the faces are essentially the same (with some exceptions like the tree at Winterfell).... twins of each other.  In the dark, their faces would be black with only blue eyes to show their presence.  That fits Catelyn's description of the Stranger; unseen and unknowable.

Quote

A Game of Thrones - Eddard I

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

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

Quote

A Game of Thrones - Eddard X

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

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

 

Edited by LynnS

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39 minutes ago, LynnS said:

We have seen weirwood with carved eyes and mouths. Are they faceless?   We are given a glimpse of cotf enthroned or imprisoned in weirwood roots.  I don't suppose their trees have faces.  Or perhaps all the faces are essentially the same (with some exceptions like the tree at Winterfell).... twins of each other.

I still reckon that the faces on the trees are of those sacrificed to it - perhaps to open the eyes

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21 hours ago, LynnS said:

On another topic; I'm wondering why Gilly mistakes a wight for a white walker when Small Paul shows up

I don't think she does.   Book wights are slow and clumsy, and hence "shamble," as Small Paul does there, whereas the Popsicles glide smoothly. 

17 hours ago, LynnS said:

It's strange that the wights around the entrance of the greenseers cave were dormant until Bran's party practically walks on top of them.  While Small Paul seems to have been hunting Sam down like a blood hound. 

They are the tools of their masters and do as their masters wish; we also see this in Othor attacking Lord Commander of the Watch Mormont in the first book.

However, the Popsicles can't raise the dead south of the Wall, because if they could it surely would have been happening all along on a mass scale.  

So Othor was already turned prior to being taken south, and was playing possum, which is also why his eyes were suddenly blue.

Quote

Dywen sucked at his wooden teeth. "Might be they didn't die here. Might be someone brought 'em and left 'em for us. A warning, as like." The old forester peered down suspiciously. "And might be I'm a fool, but I don't know that Othor never had no blue eyes afore."

17 hours ago, LynnS said:

Why is Coldhands afraid of the white walkers?

His job is to escort Bran and Co. to the cave, and he knows the white walkers and wights will kill Bran and Co. at any opportunity (and they very nearly do).

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12 minutes ago, JNR said:

His job is to escort Bran and Co. to the cave, and he knows the white walkers and wights will kill Bran and Co. at any opportunity (and they very nearly do).

I'm not so sure about the white walkers, but I agree as to the wights. They are the savage yard dogs that will kill anything that moves including postmen and newspaper delivery boys, as well as more legitimate targets like trespassers and Jehovah's Witnesses

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16 minutes ago, JNR said:

 

However, the Popsicles can't raise the dead south of the Wall, because if they could it surely would have been happening all along on a mass scale.  

 

Notwithstanding the mummers' version I'm not sure that they do anyway, they may just be the cold servants of whatever does it, but as to south of the Wall, whether they bring the cold or merely come with the cold, the Wall is stopping that cold.

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33 minutes ago, JNR said:

I don't think she does.   Book wights are slow and clumsy, and hence "shamble," as Small Paul does there, whereas the Popsicles glide smoothly. 

Isn't it the white walkers who are supposed to come for the babes?  The wights will go after any hot blood but the white walkers come for 'the life'.  Unless Small Paul has been sent for the babe in the same manner that Othor is sent after Mormont.  I'm not sure that Gilly has seen a white walker, although she may have seen a wight, or she thinks the wight is a white walker coming for the babe, according to what she has been told will happen.

I'm also not quite sure that Sam isn't the target because of what he carries - the broken horn and dragonglass.  Sam is the one who carries it back to the Watch with the knowledge that it kills white walkers.  It would make more sense for WW to send wights after Sam since they are immune to dragonglass.

Edited by LynnS

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8 minutes ago, LynnS said:

Isn't it the white walkers who are supposed to come for the babes?  The wights will go after any hot blood but the white walkers come for 'the life'.  Unless Small Paul has been sent for the babe in the same manner that Othor is sent after Mormont.

It is

I think that there has to be at least a possibility that Small Paul has been "sent" given that he enters the house alone while the rest of the zombie horde wait patiently [?] outside 

Edited by Black Crow

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2 hours ago, Black Crow said:

I still reckon that the faces on the trees are of those sacrificed to it - perhaps to open the eyes

There are weirwoods without faces and trees that aren't weirwood with faces.  They do seem to represent the face of the victim sacrificed. But I wonder about the faceless gods; the greenwood itself.  Soldier pine and sentinel tree is highly suggestive.  

We're told that every tree on the God's Eye was given a face.  Does this include soldier pines and sentinel trees?  Not everyone can be wed to a weirwood; but can they go into the trees by some magic?  This would make some sense if you are cotf or a green man.  

The sudden appearance of Sam's WW is a bit odd:
 

Quote

A Storm of Swords - Samwell I

But that was wrong. They weren't alone at all.

The lower branches of the great green sentinel shed their burden of snow with a soft wet plop. Grenn spun, thrusting out his torch. "Who goes there?" A horse's head emerged from the darkness. Sam felt a moment's relief, until he saw the horse. Hoarfrost covered it like a sheen of frozen sweat, and a nest of stiff black entrails dragged from its open belly. On its back was a rider pale as ice. Sam made a whimpery sound deep in his throat. He was so scared he might have pissed himself all over again, but the cold was in him, a cold so savage that his bladder felt frozen solid. The Other slid gracefully from the saddle to stand upon the snow. Sword-slim it was, and milky white. Its armor rippled and shifted as it moved, and its feet did not break the crust of the new-fallen snow.

 

Yes the snow could have been shaken loose by the horse or the snow could have been formed into a WW.

Horses are probably the only undead animal that doesn't go after the living.  They are transportation.  Was it just parked by the sentinel tree waiting for a rider?   What was a lonely white walker doing there?  Just waiting for Sam to come by?  Waiting to pick off the stragglers?  Or was it activated for a purpose and shaped on the spot?

What about the WWs in the prologue.  Do they qualify as soldier pines?  LOL 

Edited by LynnS

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2 hours ago, Black Crow said:

I'm not so sure about the white walkers, but I agree as to the wights. They are the savage yard dogs that will kill anything that moves including postmen and newspaper delivery boys, as well as more legitimate targets like trespassers and Jehovah's Witnesses

Explicitly, it is both that Coldhands is concerned about:
 

Quote

"No one's here," said Bran, bravely. "Look at the snow. There are no footprints."

"The white walkers go lightly on the snow," the ranger said. "You'll find no prints to mark their passage."

With no real breakdown of the "mechanics" of wight control, it's hard to say whether it is entirely apt to compare them to yard dogs that cannot differentiate between the CotF's guests and their enemies; the restraint of the wight horde with regards to Mance's army suggests some degree of control, and Othor targeting Mormont's chambers specifically suggests the possibility for precision.

If the wights can take some moderate amount of direction, yet will run loose at the first warm blooded thing to come by, one has to wonder why BR wouldn't just direct the 'yard dogs' away for a day or two, so as to not risk his precious cargo being killed by one of the wights getting in a lucky strike.

On the other hand, if BR felt it was important for the wight attack to happen, then what's the end game with that plan? Bran needs no extra incentive to stay in the cave - he could not survive a return trip, even if he wanted to - and in exploring his greenseer powers it seems likely that he would discover his hosts are responsible for the attack that nearly killed his friends--so what then? 

Edit: Though, for clarity, I don't think any of this really contradicts the idea that BR or the CotF control the wights, or may even have some responsibility for the attack; however, I must cynically observe that it seems the ultimate goal of the attack would not be for BR to trick Bran, but for GRRM to trick the reader, as the "in-world" logic for the attack seems a little questionable, IMHO.

Edited by Matthew.

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2 hours ago, Matthew. said:



Edit: Though, for clarity, I don't think any of this really contradicts the idea that BR or the CotF control the wights, or may even have some responsibility for the attack; however, I must cynically observe that it seems the ultimate goal of the attack would not be for BR to trick Bran, but for GRRM to trick the reader, as the "in-world" logic for the attack seems a little questionable, IMHO.

That's certainly a possibility, but I'm guided [and yes possibly led astray] by Conrad's original in which the ambush is indeed orchestrated by Kurz/Bloodraven with a little input from The Russian/Coldhands

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