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Lollygag

Is Craster a Casterly? - Now with plot-relevance!

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34 minutes ago, YOVMO said:

Lady Forelorn, sword of Corbray house, was wielded by first men King Robar Royce II -- the Bronze King long before the Targaryen's left Valyria. Red Rain the source of house Drumm, was stolen from a night by Hilmar the Cunning long before Targs too. I see your general point and agree that it seems something fishy happened 500 years ago (or, possibly, 500 years ago is a colloquialism used to mean a long time ago) but surely there were VS swords in westeros long before the conquest.

We have no date on Red Rain and Lady Forlorn is an interesting case; I thought it was like Ice, a new sword named after the other

Quote

"I am always proud of Bran," Catelyn replied, watching the sword as he stroked it. She could see the rippling deep within the steel, where the metal had been folded back on itself a hundred times in the forging. Catelyn had no love for swords, but she could not deny that Ice had its own beauty. It had been forged in Valyria, before the Doom had come to the old Freehold, when the ironsmiths had worked their metal with spells as well as hammers. Four hundred years old it was, and as sharp as the day it was forged. The name it bore was older still, a legacy from the age of heroes, when the Starks were Kings in the North.

but it's not

Quote

They came together as the battle raged around them, the king in bronze armor, the hero in silvered steel. Though the Falcon Knight's armor flashed brilliantly in the morning sun, his sword was no Lady Forlorn. The duel was done almost before it began, as the Valyrian steel sheared through the winged helm and laid the Andal low. For an instant, as his foe toppled from the saddle, Robar Royce must surely have thought his battle won.

Perhaps the tale grew in the telling; Lady Forlorn was a blade of excellent workmanship but as time passed on the line between the old and new Lady Forlorn became blurred, the old one became VS also. If not, it may just be a mistake, Corbrays were Lord of the Five Fingers a very poor region with the descriptions we are given. Even Lannisters with all their gold have bought one a century before the doom and the cost was "enough to raise an army".

 

VS swords came before the conquest, yes but most we have a history on are curiously from that 400-500 year period, only exception I could find is the Corbray's sword and it may just be a mistake or singers' addition or they may just have come to Westeros with it.

 

For another likely mistake and a support for Lady Forlorn being brought from Essos

Quote
Dywen Shell and Jon Brightstone, both of whom claimed the title King of the Fingers, went so far as to pay Andal warlords to cross the sea, each thinking to use their swords against the other. Instead the warlords turned upon their hosts. Within a year Brightstone had been taken, tortured, and beheaded, and Shell roasted alive inside his wooden longhall. An Andal knight named Corwyn Corbray took the daughter of the former for his bride and the wife of the latter for his bedwarmer, and claimed the Fingers for his own (though Corbray, unlike many of his fellows, never named himself a king, preferring the more modest style of Lord of the Five Fingers).
Farther south, the wealthy harbor town of Gulltown on the Bay of Crabs was ruled by Osgood Shett, Third of His Name, a grizzled old warrior who claimed the ancient, vainglorious title King of the True Men, a style that supposedly went back ten thousand years to the Dawn Age. Though Gulltown itself was seemingly secure behind its thick stone walls, King Osgood and his forebears had long been waging an intermittent war against the Bronze Kings of Runestone, a more powerful neighbor from a house as old and storied as their own. Yorwyck Royce, Sixth of That Name, had claimed the Runic Crown when his sire died in battle three years previous, and had proved to be a most redoubtable foe, defeating the Shetts in several battles and driving them back inside their town walls.
Unwisely, King Osgood turned to Andalos for help in recovering all he had lost. Thinking to avoid the fate of Shell and Brightstone, he sought to bind his allies to him with blood in place of gold; he gave his daughter in marriage to the Andal knight Gerold Grafton, took Ser Gerold's eldest daughter for his own bride, and married a younger daughter to his son and heir. All the marriages were performed by septons, according to the rites of the Seven From Across the Sea. Shett even went so far as to convert to the Faith himself, swearing to build a great sept in Gulltown should the Seven grant him victory. Then he sallied forth with his Andal allies to meet the Bronze King.

Not all the lords and kings of the First Men were so foolish as to invite their conquerors into their halls and homes. Many chose to fight instead. Chief amongst these was the aforementioned Bronze King, Yorwyck VI of Runestone, who led the Royces to several notable victories over the Andals, at one point smashing seven longships that had dared to land upon his shores and decorating the walls of Runestone with the heads of their captains and crews. His heirs carried on the fight after him, for the wars between the First Men and the Andals lasted for generations.

The last of the Bronze Kings was Yorwyck's grandson, Robar II, who inherited Runestone from his sire less than a fortnight before his sixteenth nameday yet proved to be a warrior of such ferocity and cunning and charm that he almost succeeded in stemming the Andal tide.

Fights lasted for generations but the last king is only the third generation

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3 minutes ago, Corvo the Crow said:

We have no date on Red Rain and Lady Forlorn is an interesting case; I thought it was like Ice, a new sword named after the other

but it's not

Perhaps the tale grew in the telling; Lady Forlorn was a blade of excellent workmanship but as time passed on the line between the old and new Lady Forlorn became blurred, the old one became VS also. If not, it may just be a mistake, Corbrays were Lord of the Five Fingers a very poor region with the descriptions we are given. Even Lannisters with all their gold have bought one a century before the doom and the cost was "enough to raise an army".

 

VS swords came before the conquest, yes but most we have a history on are curiously from that 400-500 year period, only exception I could find is the Corbray's sword and it may just be a mistake or singers' addition.

Yeah, I guess I always assumed Red Rain to be very old (I also believe it originally belonged to House Reyne). Lady Forlorn is a fascinating sword. I would love a longer history on it. that period of 500 years ago is very interesting. While this is pure conjecture it may have to do with whatever the original ice and Dawn are made of. They both seem to be made of the same thing, something very special with properties similar to that of VS. It is possible that whatever went into crafting swords like that was no longer possible at some point "500 years ago" and hence Westerosi Kings and Lords went in search of a replacement for VS?

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21 minutes ago, YOVMO said:

While this is pure conjecture it may have to do with whatever the original ice and Dawn are made of. They both seem to be made of the same thing, something very special with properties similar to that of VS. It is possible that whatever went into crafting swords like that was no longer possible at some point "500 years ago" and hence Westerosi Kings and Lords went in search of a replacement for VS?

I suspect all of the legendary bronze-age swords of Westeros are just meteoric iron swords, and Dawn is the only one that's in any way magical. These other iron swords would have vastly outclassed the bronze weapons everyone else was using, and would be rare enough to be a big deal, but they'd no longer seem magical after the Andals brought steel, which could explain why they were lost or discarded for Valyrian steel namesakes.

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26 minutes ago, falcotron said:

I suspect all of the legendary bronze-age swords of Westeros are just meteoric iron swords, and Dawn is the only one that's in any way magical. These other iron swords would have vastly outclassed the bronze weapons everyone else was using, and would be rare enough to be a big deal, but they'd no longer seem magical after the Andals brought steel, which could explain why they were lost or discarded for Valyrian steel namesakes.

That would make plenty of sense. I am not sure it accounts for the original Ice though. If that sword dated back to bran the builder and lasted until 400 years before Roberts rebellion when it was replaced with a VS greatsword then meteoric iron wouldn't explain it. But other than the original Ice from the age of heros and dawn I think you are probably correct.

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1 hour ago, YOVMO said:

That would make plenty of sense. I am not sure it accounts for the original Ice though. If that sword dated back to bran the builder and lasted until 400 years before Roberts rebellion when it was replaced with a VS greatsword then meteoric iron wouldn't explain it. But other than the original Ice from the age of heros and dawn I think you are probably correct.

We have a metorite sword that is known to have been around since the dawn of history. That is, if your concern is the sword being able to survive for that long.

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1 hour ago, YOVMO said:

That would make plenty of sense. I am not sure it accounts for the original Ice though. If that sword dated back to bran the builder and lasted until 400 years before Roberts rebellion when it was replaced with a VS greatsword then meteoric iron wouldn't explain it. But other than the original Ice from the age of heros and dawn I think you are probably correct.

Yeah, if I'm right in general, but there is another exception besides Dawn, it's probably Ice.

But I don't want this thread to get derailed on a side issue that has nothing to do with Lollygag's original point, as at least two other threads have been in the past, so I started a separate thread for it.

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You know it’s funny you all are talking about swords when it was looking into Gerion and Brightroar which got me started on all of this. Just a gut call right now, but it may be more important than we think, so please continue if you wish.

Note that Brightroar was bought THE century before the Doom, not A century before the Doom. It was paid for in gold which was prophesied to be the end of Valyria, but we don’t know who the Lannisters bought the sword from.

“Enough to raise an army” might be a clue as it's kind of specific. Also, raising an army isn't necessarily the same as buying an army. Did anyone raise/buy an army around that time? What were the Valyrians doing around this time?

The Doom occurred 114BC. If it was bought A century before the Doom, then we’re looking at ~214BC. If we’re looking at THE century before the Doom, then the timeline changes from 300BC to 200BC.

"Gold of Casterly Rock" may also have some important hints. They didn't say Lannister gold, they specified the place. And gold might mean money, or it might mean just raw gold. There's no mention of silver. Casterly Rock gold may be very specific only to the gold mines of only Casterly Rock but not other mines in the Westerlands owned by the Lannisters. "Gold of Casterly Rock" is specifically what the old gods showed the Casterlys.

They wanted gold badly. That the sorcerers say the gold is bad maybe means that Casterly Rock gold is somehow incompatible not with their metal work but with their spells. If Casterly Rock gold is tied to the old gods (sacrifice? Jaime's dream?), and if Craster is a Casterly, and if Craster has a special thing with the Others, then I can see how that might go badly. They don't use gold for VS swords I don't think though.

 

TWOIAF

The sword Brightroar came into the possession of the Lannister kings in the century before the Doom, and it is said that the weight of gold they paid for it would have been enough to raise an army. But it was lost little more than a century later, when Tommen II carried it with him when he sailed with his great fleet to ruined Valyria, with the intention of plundering the wealth and sorcery he was sure still remained. The fleet never returned, nor Tommen, nor Brightroar.

...

The great wealth of the westerlands, of course, stems primarily from their gold and silver mines. The veins of ore run wide and deep, and there are mines, even now, that have been delved for a thousand years and more and are yet to be emptied. Lomas Longstrider reports that, even in far Asshai-by-the-Shadow, there were merchants who asked him if it was true that the "Lion Lord" lived in a palace of solid gold and that crofters collected a wealth of gold simply by plowing their fields. The gold of the west has traveled far, and the maesters know there are no mines in all the world as rich as those of Casterly Rock.

The wealth of the westerlands was matched, in ancient times, with the hunger of the Freehold of Valyria for precious metals, yet there seems no evidence that the dragonlords ever made contact with the lords of the Rock, Casterly or Lannister. Septon Barth speculated on the matter, referring to a Valyrian text that has since been lost, suggesting that the Freehold's sorcerers foretold that the gold of Casterly Rock would destroy them. Archmaester Perestan has put forward a different, more plausible speculation, suggesting that the Valyrians had in ancient days reached as far as Oldtown but suffered so

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@Seams @Corvo the Crow

I looked up some stuff on the Manderlys. They were a First Man family which converted to the Seven. Between 1000BC and 600BC, they were driven from the Reach because they “overreached” and/or because the King feared their growing power. It doesn’t specify what “power” is so can’t say as to whether it’s economic power, military power, political power, etc. This seems true because we see the gluttonous Wyman make a play for Hornwood.

Those sacrifices in the World Book would have stopped long after the arrival of the Manderlys. So either they couldn't stop them or they didn't bother to do so for some reason...

I’ve always been confused by the green hair on their merman sigil. Blue would make more sense. No weird color at all would make the best sense because the dyed hair just seems Tyroshi. Green could be seaweed, but the Mander is a river. I'm assuming their sigil came from the Reach as they went from one water culture on the Mander to another water culture in White Harbor but maybe I'm wrong? Wylla has green hair, I assume from the sigil, but given the frequent Garth mentions in this chapter, the green hair on their sigil is a bit unsettling:

Garth was the High King of the First Men, it is written; it was he who led them out of the east and across the land bridge to Westeros. Yet other tales would have us believe that he preceded the arrival of the First Men by thousands of years, making him not only the First Man in Westeros, but the only man, wandering the length and breadth of the land alone and treating with the giants and the children of the forest. Some even say he was a god.

 

There is disagreement even on his name. Garth Greenhand, we call him, but in the oldest tales he is named Garth Greenhair, or simply Garth the Green. Some stories say he had green hands, green hair, or green skin overall. (A few even give him antlers, like a stag.) Others tell us that he dressed in green from head to foot, and certainly this is how he is most commonly depicted in paintings, tapestries, and sculptures. More likely, his sobriquet derived from his gifts as a gardener and a tiller of the soil—the one trait on which all the tales agree. "Garth made the corn ripen, the trees fruit, and the flowers bloom," the singers tell us.

 

A few of the very oldest tales of Garth Greenhand present us with a considerably darker deity, one who demanded blood sacrifice from his worshippers to ensure a bountiful harvest. In some stories the green god dies every autumn when the trees lose their leaves, only to be reborn with the coming of spring. This version of Garth is largely forgotten.

 

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Just a random thought here.

I keep coming across this happy vs weeping/generally negative contrast with the Casterlys and Lannisters. It makes me think of the two-faced weeping/laughing masks on playhouses.

Tytos was the Laughing Lion until his wife died. Then he became—they didn’t give him a catchy name– but a sad lion.

Gerion then became the Laughing Lion who was always at odds with the sour lion in Tywin.

Jaime laughs and jokes taking nothing seriously, but Cersei never smiles or laughs unless its for manipulative or malicious reasons.

While Jon notes that Craster’s mouth is downturned in ACOK III, Sam specifies that it’s downturned only on one side like he’s had a stroke. I don’t know if that’s a discrepancy or not? Craster dies in this chapter but does that mean anything? Tywin’s mouth turned up after he died...

ASOS Samwell II

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

Tyrion seems to be two sided though it doesn’t have much to do with his mouth. On one hand, he has bright blonde hair and a green eye, and on the other he has very dark hair and a black eye.

When the Casterlys moved into the Rock to protect their treasure, it just really sounded like Gollum to me who has two faces and is always “my precious…” over a gold ring and lives in caves. Craster’s bracelet is described as a gold ring around his wrist.

The Casterlys live in caves in such a way that they seemed creature-like and made me think of mole people, then you have Lann the Clever stealing sun and laughing.

I noted Tywin’s mouth in the Tywin’s funeral section above. In life it was down-turned, but in death became up-turned.

 

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9 hours ago, Lollygag said:

Note that Brightroar was bought THE century before the Doom, not A century before the Doom. It was paid for in gold which was prophesied to be the end of Valyria, but we don’t know who the Lannisters bought the sword from. 

TWOIAF

The sword Brightroar came into the possession of the Lannister kings in the century before the Doom, and it is said that the weight of gold they paid for it would have been enough to raise an army. But it was lost little more than a century later, when Tommen II carried it with him when he sailed with his great fleet to ruined Valyria, with the intention of plundering the wealth and sorcery he was sure still remained. The fleet never returned, nor Tommen, nor Brightroar.

Somewhere in this forum, I speculated that Pycelle had been helping the Lannisters with secret alchemy, making fake gold and that this fake gold somehow affected Valyria. But I didn't have a lot of evidence for this theory, and had to assume we would find out more now that Pycelle was dead and Cersei would have no income to finance her empire.

But what if the gold wasn't fake but radioactive? The Lannisters used the gold to buy Brightroar, the Valyrian sorcerers tried to use that gold in some magic ritual and POOF all of Valyria is destroyed.

But Lannister gold has been used throughout Westeros for many years and we haven't heard of ill effects from handling it. So it must not be literal radiation, it GRRM is using something along those lines as a plot device. Just as greyscale isn't literal leprosy.

8 hours ago, Lollygag said:

I’ve always been confused by the green hair on their merman sigil. . . .

 

There is disagreement even on his name. Garth Greenhand, we call him, but in the oldest tales he is named Garth Greenhair, or simply Garth the Green. Some stories say he had green hands, green hair, or green skin overall. (A few even give him antlers, like a stag.)...

A few of the very oldest tales of Garth Greenhand present us with a considerably darker deity, one who demanded blood sacrifice from his worshippers to ensure a bountiful harvest. In some stories the green god dies every autumn when the trees lose their leaves, only to be reborn with the coming of spring. This version of Garth is largely forgotten.

Lately, my reading of some of the literary devices in the books is that we are being set up for a "battle" between mountains and rivers. Or maybe it won't be a battle per se, but just a clearer pattern of tension between high and low, stone and water, still and flowing. I suspect that there will be three important (symbolic or literal) rivers - red, blue and green coming together to make one Trident. So the Manderlys may be part of Team Green.

The little throw-away reference to the river changing its course at the inn at the crossroads may be relevant to the Manderly symbolism, too. Just as the Manderly family picked up and moved to White Harbor, the river by the inn moved itself sixty feet away from the old riverbed.

Looking at Lommy Greenhands might also be useful in sorting out the Manderly association with green. He dies sitting beneath a tree, so he may be part of the ancient green god legend you cite. He was a dyer's apprentice, so there may be a direwolf pun intended.

8 hours ago, Lollygag said:

The Casterlys live in caves in such a way that they seemed creature-like and made me think of mole people, then you have Lann the Clever stealing sun and laughing.

As I was reading your posts about gold and tunnels, I was already starting to think about the Night's Watch brothers "digging for treasure" at Molestown. Certainly Craster seems to do a lot of "digging" with all those wives and babies around. And we know that the Lannisters are all about exploiting their mines for wealth. This could be a very interesting set of symbols to pursue.

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most likely not, or more to the point, it doesn't matter as the casterlys are thousands of years dead and craster is the bastard son of a watchman and his mother was a wildling. good on the effort though 

On 10/14/2017 at 7:29 PM, Lollygag said:

snip

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7 hours ago, Seams said:

Somewhere in this forum, I speculated that Pycelle had been helping the Lannisters with secret alchemy, making fake gold and that this fake gold somehow affected Valyria. But I didn't have a lot of evidence for this theory, and had to assume we would find out more now that Pycelle was dead and Cersei would have no income to finance her empire.

But what if the gold wasn't fake but radioactive? The Lannisters used the gold to buy Brightroar, the Valyrian sorcerers tried to use that gold in some magic ritual and POOF all of Valyria is destroyed.

But Lannister gold has been used throughout Westeros for many years and we haven't heard of ill effects from handling it. So it must not be literal radiation, it GRRM is using something along those lines as a plot device. Just as greyscale isn't literal leprosy.

I just really noticed the part in the WOIAF where the Valyrians avoided the Casterlys as well as the Lannisters meaning their reasons for avoiding Casterly Rock is about Casterly Rock itself for whatever the reason, and it originated during the Casterlys' time.

If Pycelle had a hand in continuing something that went back a long time to the Casterlys and Pycelle, Tywin and Kevan all died recently with no clear hand-over of Casterly Rock, then that might be very significant.

The wealth of the westerlands was matched, in ancient times, with the hunger of the Freehold of Valyria for precious metals, yet there seems no evidence that the dragonlords ever made contact with the lords of the Rock, Casterly or Lannister.

7 hours ago, Seams said:

Lately, my reading of some of the literary devices in the books is that we are being set up for a "battle" between mountains and rivers. Or maybe it won't be a battle per se, but just a clearer pattern of tension between high and low, stone and water, still and flowing. I suspect that there will be three important (symbolic or literal) rivers - red, blue and green coming together to make one Trident. So the Manderlys may be part of Team Green.

This would play into the themes of the powerful and the powerless with High and Low. I've noticed that hills are linked to Craster and the Lannisters. Still and flowing: the Others are extremely cold. At absolute zero all motion of molecules stops. Ice Preserves. Heat is the accelerated movement or flowing of molecules, or if there is too much motion therefor too much heat, Fire Destroys.

The stone vs water makes me think of the Tao Te Ching, #78

Nothing in the world
is as soft and yielding as water.
Yet for dissolving the hard and inflexible,
nothing can surpass it.

The soft overcomes the hard;
the gentle overcomes the rigid.
Everyone knows this is true,
but few can put it into practice.

Therefore the Master remains
serene in the midst of sorrow.
Evil cannot enter his heart.
Because he has given up helping,
he is people's greatest help.

True words seem paradoxical.

7 hours ago, Seams said:

Looking at Lommy Greenhands might also be useful in sorting out the Manderly association with green. He dies sitting beneath a tree, so he may be part of the ancient green god legend you cite. He was a dyer's apprentice, so there may be a direwolf pun intended.

Yeah, I was thinking we might get a lot of information on the dark diety Garth Greenhands or Garth Greenhair from Arya's chapters when Lommy appears.

It says that the Manderlys were exiled from the Reach because they had too much power and we see Wyman seeking power through acquiring Hornwood by marrying his first cousin and I’ve long suspected that his support of Rickon is tied to a wish to become his regent as Rickon would have no obvious choices for regent. Manderly could reject Jon on the basis of his vows and reject Sansa on the basis of her marriage to Tyrion. Would he marry Rickon to Wyalla? She’s 10 years older.

Previously I’ve thought that sacrifices in the north were exclusively for protection, but maybe not always? The wildlings (and Chett) think of Craster as living as a lord. I attributed this to his own making but now I’m not so sure. Craster sacrifices his kin and lives like a lord (relative to north of the Wall), the Manderlys may be linked to such sacrifices in White Harbor at least if not in the Reach though the implication is there. They’ve flourished in White Harbor as previously it was a very difficult location to hold and we know that they’ve historically sought power in the past and continue to do so today.  The Casterlys sacrifice a lion but spare the rest and they are rewarded. What if the Casterlys were rewarded for the sacrifice and not rewarded for the spared cubs? Something in the water wants Jaime but not the other Lannisters and the Lannisters hold great power. We do have some missing Lannisters and their family is unusually large for Westeros.

And above them loomed the pale limbs and dark red leaves of a monstrous great weirwood.

It was the biggest tree Jon Snow had ever seen, the trunk near eight feet wide, the branches spreading so far that the entire village was shaded beneath their canopy. The size did not disturb him so much as the face . . . the mouth especially, no simple carved slash, but a jagged hollow large enough to swallow a sheep.

Those are not sheep bones, though. Nor is that a sheep's skull in the ashes.

"An old tree." Mormont sat his horse, frowning. "Old," his raven agreed from his shoulder. "Old, old, old."

"And powerful." Jon could feel the power.

...but in the oldest tales he is named Garth Greenhair, or simply Garth the Green.

A few of the very oldest tales of Garth Greenhand present us with a considerably darker deity, one who demanded blood sacrifice from his worshippers to ensure a bountiful harvest. In some stories the green god dies every autumn when the trees lose their leaves, only to be reborn with the coming of spring. This version of Garth is largely forgotten.

 

Is there anyone else linked to sacrifice and power?

 

 

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On 10/17/2017 at 5:19 AM, Bowen Marsh said:

Is Craster as Casterly?  No.  Craster is most likely a Stark. 

Actually, there are A LOT more smallfolk than nobility, and this has been the case throughout all of Westeros's history. The odds of "Craster" (just GOT to be "Casterly"?) no surname being of nameless (literally) non-noble birth is just overwhelming. The fact that he lives in a large hut on higher ground doesn't echo a castle, much less "Crasterly Rock"; the fact that lots of animal and human shite has accumulated over the decades is what happens with inadequate, medieval sanitation; and who isn't interested in gold and blades; etc.

Symbolism in a story is one thing, and GRRM is really good at it. But postulating that a pedophilic, incestuous, infanticidal old coot is actually a long lost lord based on the information I've seen isn't symbolism. More like a reach. Please continue with the symbolism!

 

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So I’ve just come across some information which lets me just get to the point as to why it’s significant if Craster is a Casterly. Actually, Craster was a tangent on the Casterlys and Lannisters in general. I’ll have a lot more backup for this in the next post which also expands into other things.

Jaime dreams of creatures that want him under the cold, dark water in the caverns under Casterly Rock. Casterly Rock is described as “thrice the height of the Wall or the Hightower in Oldtown. Almost two leagues  long from west to east…” so it’s entirely believable that things exist well hidden deep in Casterly Rock. Cowled is a synonym for shrouded in some contexts.

Around him stood a dozen tall dark figures in cowled robes that hid their faces. In their hands were spears. "

He had no choice but to descend. Down a twisting passageway he went, narrow steps carved from the living rock, down and down.

...

Crouching, listening, Jaime moved in a circle, ready for anything that might come out of the darkness. The water flowed into his boots, ankle deep and bitterly cold. Beware the water, he told himself. There may be creatures living in it, hidden deeps . . .

Notice here “Hooded” (another word for shrouded in some contexts), “necromancy” and “return from the grave” and “thralls”. Also note that Loreon is the first King. Given how people like to King themselves, he likely doesn't post date Lann and the Casterlys by much. Human thralls were kept at that time, but given that he was a powerful necromancer and what he did with the Lions, I wonder if his thralls were not something else.

Lann the Clever never called himself a king, as best we know, though some tales told centuries later have conferred that style on him posthumously.  The first true Lannister king we know of is Loreon Lannister, also known as Loreon the Lion (a number of Lannisters through the centuries have been dubbed ‘the Lion’ or ‘the Golden,’ for understandable reasons), who made the Reynes of Castamere his vassals by wedding a daughter of that House, and defeated the Hooded King, Morgon Banefort, and his thralls in a war that lasted twenty years.

King Morgon was supposedly a necromancer of terrible power, and it is written that as he lay dying, he told the Lannisters who had slain him (amongst them three of Loreon’s own sons) that he would return from the grave to wreak vengeance upon them one and all.  To prevent that, Loreon had Morgon’s body hacked into a hundred pieces and fed to his lions.  In a grisly aftermath, however, those selfsame lions broke loose two years later in the bowels of Casterly Rock, and slew the king’s sons, just as the Hooded King had promised.

Dywen said Craster was a kinslayer, liar, raper, and craven, and hinted that he trafficked with slavers and demons. "And worse," the old forester would add, clacking his wooden teeth. "There's a cold smell to that one, there is."

Apparently the Westerlands Chapter in TWOIAF is abridged from this full version on GRRM’s website.
http://www.georgerrmartin.com/world-of-ice-and-fire-sample/

 

Thanks to the other posters on this thread as their mental meanderings helped greatly in filling in some holes! I’m guessing that this goes back to some connection with the Rhoyne. The Casterlys had reason to visit the Rhoyne after their gold discovery as the Rhoynar were expert metal workers. Garin’s curse of greyscale was ~700BC, long after the Casterlys, but we don’t know that greyscale (or something similar) didn’t exist long before that point or that it wasn’t used as a threat. At the same time the Valyrians made a truce with the Rhoyne instead of fire-and-blooding them like everyone else, they were avoiding the Casterlys and then later the Lannisters while we have reports of hooded lords who can perform necromancy and control thralls in the Westerlands. Given Tywin’s and Craster’s connections to “foul humors” and rain, it all sounds Shrouded Lord-ish.

The wealth of the westerlands was matched, in ancient times, with the hunger of the Freehold of Valyria for precious metals, yet there seems no evidence that the dragonlords ever made contact with the lords of the Rock, Casterly or Lannister. Septon Barth speculated on the matter, referring to a Valyrian text that has since been lost, suggesting that the Freehold's sorcerers foretold that the gold of Casterly Rock would destroy them.

TWOIAF—Ancient History: Valyria’s Children

In short, the names and numbers of the peoples who fell to Valyria are unknown to us today. What records the Valyrians kept of their conquests were largely destroyed by the Doom, and few if any of these peoples documented their own histories in a way that survived the Freehold's dominion.

A few, such as the Rhoynar, lasted against the tide for centuries, or even millennia. The Rhoynar, who founded great cities along the Rhoyne, were said to be the first to learn the art of iron-making.

ADWD Tyrion V

"The conquerors did not believe either, Hugor Hill," said Ysilla. "The men of Volantis and Valyria hung Garin in a golden cage and made mock as he called upon his Mother to destroy them. But in the night the waters rose and drowned them, and from that day to this they have not rested. They are down there still beneath the water, they who were once the lords of fire. Their cold breath rises from the murk to make these fogs, and their flesh has turned as stony as their hearts."

Valyria initially believed in the curses but later did not? Is that what restricted them at first?

 

Wild speculation here: it’s mentioned with the Rhoynar’s resistance against Valyria that they learned iron-making. Iron is placed on the statues at Winterell, Ironwoods surround Crasters’ keep, Ironwood doors on Winterfell’s crypt doors. Perhaps this is when the greyscale originated, or at least a predecessor and iron-making came along with it to contain and control it?

 

Notice Jaime’s connection to hoods, stone, water, fish, fishscales, and snow/all white in the quotes below. He’s a stone-like watcher of the dead, hooded, on chilly, dreary rainy day in a place that stinks (foul humors linked to the Shrouded Lord). He wears scales like Rhoynish armor and also mother-of-pearl. He's linked to snow and all white not unlike an Other. Also note another passage where Jaime sees a dead man he doesn’t recognize in the water along with a Tully trout. He saw a dead man in the water and wondered if he knew him. His Lannister hair disappears under the water as it’s cut off. He then looks at himself in the water and doesn’t recognize himself.

 

AFFC Cersei II

Under the Great Sept's lofty dome of glass and gold and crystal, Lord Tywin Lannister's body rested upon a stepped marble bier. At its head Jaime stood at vigil, his one good hand curled about the hilt of a tall golden greatsword whose point rested on the floor. The hooded cloak he wore was as white as freshly fallen snow, and the scales of his long hauberk were mother-of-pearl chased with gold. Lord Tywin would have wanted him in Lannister gold and crimson, she thought. It always angered him to see Jaime all in white.

She glanced at Jaime. Her twin stood as if he had been carved from stone, and would not meet her eyes.

 

TWOIAF Ten Thousand Ships

The Rhoynish warrior with his silver-scaled armor, fish-head helm, tall spear, and turtle-shell shield was esteemed and feared by all those who faced him in battle. It was said the Mother Rhoyne herself whispered to her children of every threat, that the Rhoynar princes wielded strange, uncanny powers, that Rhoynish women fought as fiercely as Rhoynish men, and that their cities were protected by "watery walls" that would rise to drown any foe.

 

ASOS Jaime I

Birds flew overhead, or cried out from the trees along the shore, and Jaime glimpsed silvery fish knifing through the water. Tully trout, there's a bad omen, he thought, until he saw a worse—one of the floating logs they passed turned out to be a dead man, bloodless and swollen. His cloak was tangled in the roots of a fallen tree, its color unmistakably Lannister crimson. He wondered if the corpse had been someone he knew.

...

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. As the tangles vanished, a louse went crawling down his neck.

...

The reflection in the water was a man he did not know. Not only was he bald, but he looked as though he had aged five years in that dungeon; his face was thinner, with hollows under his eyes and lines he did not remember. I don't look as much like Cersei this way. She'll hate that.

In the passage above where Jaime is described not unlike the (hooded) Shrouded Lord, his gold sword is prominent. Valyria’s sorcerers prophesied that Casterly Rock gold (not silver) would end them. Craster wears a gold ring around his wrist and asks for an axe with gold inlay. Garin was hung in a gold cage when he issued his curse.

 

It’s long been speculated that the stonemen, greyscale and the stone statues of Winterfell (and the stonemen of Casterly Rock?) are tied to the Others and it has to do with bloodlines. Hence Craster’s relationship with the Others. Val says that greyscale is stronger on the other (Others’) side of the Wall.

 

ADWD Jon XI

Once outside and well away from the queen's men, Val gave vent to her wroth. "You lied about her beard. That one has more hair on her chin than I have between my legs. And the daughter … her face …"

"Greyscale."

"The grey death is what we call it."

"It is not always mortal in children."

"North of the Wall it is.

 

This also has interesting implications for Pycelle. He was exposed to the grey plague as a child. He does not say whether he caught it or not, though the hint is there. If Pycelle caught the grey plague as a child and is now immune and the Lannisters have greyscale or something similar at Casterly Rock, then Pycelle’s value to the Lannisters is clear. Note that Pycelle links Tywin’s doing what was needed to Quenton Hightower’s doing what was needed against the grey plague for the reader hinting that there was more to Tywin’s ruthlessness than it appears. 

AFFC Jaime I

Without his beard, Pycelle looked not only old, but feeble. Shaving him was the cruelest thing Tyrion could have done, thought Jaime, who knew what it was to lose a part of yourself, the part that made you who you were. Pycelle's beard had been magnificent, white as snow and soft as lambswool, a luxuriant growth that covered cheeks and chin and flowed down almost to his belt. The Grand Maester had been wont to stroke it when he pontificated. It had given him an air of wisdom, and concealed all manner of unsavory things: the loose skin dangling beneath the old man's jaw, the small querulous mouth and missing teeth, warts and wrinkles and age spots too numerous to count. Though Pycelle was trying to regrow what he had lost, he was failing. Only wisps and tufts sprouted from his wrinkled cheeks and weak chin, so thin that Jaime could see the splotchy pink skin beneath.

"Ser Jaime, I have seen terrible things in my time," the old man said. "Wars, battles, murders most foul . . . I was a boy in Oldtown when the grey plague took half the city and three-quarters of the Citadel. Lord Hightower burned every ship in port, closed the gates, and commanded his guards to slay all those who tried to flee, be they men, women, or babes in arms. They killed him when the plague had run its course. On the very day he reopened the port, they dragged him from his horse and slit his throat, and his young son's as well. To this day the ignorant in Oldtown will spit at the sound of his name, but Quenton Hightower did what was needed. Your father was that sort of man as well. A man who did what was needed."

ADWD Tyrion V

Maesters and septons alike agreed that children marked by greyscale could never be touched by the rarer mortal form of the affliction, nor by its terrible swift cousin, the grey plague. "Damp is said to be the culprit," he said. "Foul humors in the air. Not curses."

I can’t say exactly what the plot relevance might be if Craster is a Casterly because I can’t say exactly what greyscale and the Others might have in common, though they do seem connected. The Lannisters and Craster and Casterly are all linked to greyscale and Shrouded Lord things like rain/water, damp/chill, shit/”foul humors”, creatures in dark frigid water, hooded necromancers, Craster’s rumored association with demons, his confirmed association with the Others, and it’s all looped into why the greyscale is always deadly north of the Wall.

 

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41 minutes ago, zandru said:

Actually, there are A LOT more smallfolk than nobility, and this has been the case throughout all of Westeros's history. The odds of "Craster" (just GOT to be "Casterly"?) no surname being of nameless (literally) non-noble birth is just overwhelming. The fact that he lives in a large hut on higher ground doesn't echo a castle, much less "Crasterly Rock"; the fact that lots of animal and human shite has accumulated over the decades is what happens with inadequate, medieval sanitation; and who isn't interested in gold and blades; etc.

Symbolism in a story is one thing, and GRRM is really good at it. But postulating that a pedophilic, incestuous, infanticidal old coot is actually a long lost lord based on the information I've seen isn't symbolism. More like a reach. Please continue with the symbolism!

 

Maybe I'm not understanding your post, but this thread is largely discussing actual things like rain, shit and drearyness. When I'm comparing the rain at Craster's and at Tywin's funeral, I'm being entirely literal.

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30 minutes ago, Lollygag said:

When I'm comparing the rain at Craster's and at Tywin's funeral, I'm being entirely literal.

It's my humble opinion that you'd be closer to the mark if you considered all these things as symbolic.

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Just now, zandru said:

It's my humble opinion that you'd be closer to the mark if you considered all these things as symbolic.

While I always fully encourage wild and unrestrained symbolism analysis :D, there is way too much (even more later) pointing to the Casterly/Lannisters and the Rhoyne with their Valyria-repelling greyscale-Shrouded Lord-Other-overtoned thing as outlined a few posts ago.

But I get what you're saying with the original OP. This thing has gotten away from me...

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On 10/16/2017 at 11:52 PM, Lollygag said:

 

 

Blue was not the ancient association for the sea or the ocean. Blue didn't even come into term's till after. The Iliad and the Odyssey never once calls the waters blue. Instead green or black. 

 

So the association of Green to Garth and the Merling King actually makes sense.

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