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Curled Finger

When the Dead Come Knocking

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Last we saw Jon Snow he knew only the cold.  He fell and bled all over everything.   He may or may not have survived the For the Watch knife attack.  Maybe one day we will know.  Last we saw Brienne she was luring Jamie away to meet The Hound who has The Girl.  Again, perhaps some day we will know what transpires with this, too.   Jon is at what Melisandre calls a hinge of the world—he’s in the closest proximity to the Others, making him stuck in a deeply ice magical place with a fire magical priestess.  Though there are weirwoods and weirwood groves and hollow hills in the Riverlands, there is not direct magical connection to ice magic at the Trident or Pennytree, but there is that curious Lady Stonehart—a good ”sort of living” example of fire magic.  Not to mention Thoros, another powerful fire magic worker.    

Much is made of our author’s slow progress and impossible depth of story.   That is nonsense.  Both of these plots are beautifully set up to go to the next level.  Fire or ice they are dangerously close to death if not already dead in the cases of Jon and Brienne.   There is light at the end of AFFC and ADWD, it just takes imagination to see it.   Jon suffers at the hands of his sworn brothers of the Nights Watch:

Then Bowen Marsh stood there before him, tears running down his cheeks. "For the Watch." He punched Jon in the belly. When he pulled his hand away, the dagger stayed where he had buried it.

Jon fell to his knees. He found the dagger's hilt and wrenched it free. In the cold night air the wound was smoking. "Ghost," he whispered. Pain washed over him. Stick them with the pointy end. When the third dagger took him between the shoulder blades, he gave a grunt and fell face-first into the snow. He never felt the fourth knife. Only the cold …ADWD Jon VIII

 Brienne was hanged (for you, @Nittanian) along with Pod and Hyle Hunt.  Lady Stoneheart, a “sort of person” Brienne was sworn to, gives the command to hang her.  We see through Brienne’s eyes:

Brienne felt the hemp constricting, digging into her skin, jerking her chin upward. Ser Hyle was cursing them eloquently, but not the boy. Podrick never lifted his eyes, not even when his feet were jerked up off the ground. If this is another dream, it is time for me to awaken. If this is real, it is time for me to die. All she could see was Podrick, the noose around his thin neck, his legs twitching. Her mouth opened. Pod was kicking, choking, dying. Brienne sucked the air in desperately, even as the rope was strangling her. Nothing had ever hurt so much.

She screamed a word. AFFC Brienne VIII

Brienne seems more aware of what’s happening around her.  Jon registers pain as acutely as she does.  We know the word Brienne screams is sword—a direct agreement to ensnare Jamie into whatever trap Lady Stoneheart has prepared.  Jon whispers “Ghost”, his closest friend.  Jon seems to have a bit of a life review in his thoughts about “stick them with the pointy end” and perhaps the mention of Ghost.  Brienne seems much more aware of Pod’s lack of reaction than her own.  They are both sort of separated from themselves.  We don’t know where stabs 2 and 4 landed, but if they hit an artery, Jon would bleed out in as little as 15 minutes.   Complete death by hanging can take up to 20 minutes.  With so little information I don’t think it’s unreasonable to consider both Jon and Brienne have died.  In that there are 2 possible ways for anyone to be reanimated, it’s not at all ridiculous to expect that Jamie may suffer at least 1 death.  What good is a Grave Digger if no one dies?  We know that ice preserves in the case of Maester Aemon’s longevity at the Wall.  We know that fire consumes as seen in the oft resurrected Beric  Dondarion who loses memories and vitality. 

All 3 of these characters have undergone profound transformations.  Jamie is working hard to keep his vows and recover his honor.  Jon distances himself from his friends and brothers at the Wall for myriad reasons.  Brienne is becoming crafty and recognizing her love for Pod.  Death in these settings is almost required for complete transformation.   Jamie is fond of recalling there are so many vows.  These noble characters are coming to terms with all of their vows.   If Beric Dondarion is anything to measure by, we should be able to anticipate their individual missions after reanimation.   Jamie may understand justice and fight for a cause.  Brienne should be fierce and loyal but much smarter.  Jon could walk away from his vows that limit his unitarian efforts or enter the crypts in his dreams.   Many ways reanimation could go for all 3 of them.  

This is just speculation.   I have no real insight into any of these characters or their situations.   This is simply one way I imagine the cliffhangers in ADWD could work out.  Golden Boy and Lady Ser are not the only significant characters in the Riverlands with skulls dancing about their heads.   We’ve got that Grave Digger and the Blackfish.  But the far North is all Jon’s.  I don’t know that Melisandre has any power to restore life but base these thoughts on her being a Red Priestess, magic increasing and Thoros’ own admissions he never expected the kiss of life to work.   Do these conflicted characters have to die to complete their transformations?  Is there some planning in these 3 experiencing life after death?  How do you see it possibly shaking out?

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Well written post and interesting ponderings, @Curled Finger.  I can definitely see the theme of transformation in each of the characters (more clearly Jon and Jaime than Brienne), and you draw a strong enough connection between the three.  My issue is with literal death and resurrection being used to represent this transformation in all cases.  With Jon, if he is dead and presumably resurrects, it is pretty powerful stuff.  "Kill the boy" and Maester Aemon's admonition come to mind.  But it becomes awfully trite to me if this is overused - I get it in the case of Beric as a means to prepare the reader for Jon, and I struggle with LSH because while I have a fairly good suspicion what her primary role will be I think she is a wholly unnecessary character.  Jaime and Brienne would be too much.  Jaime's transformation is already symbolized in the loss of his hand.  "I was that hand" he thinks to himself.  I don't see why another major occurence is necessary for his arc of transformation.  Brienne I see less of as a transformative character and more a vehicle for GRRM to give exposition while also propping up Jaime's and likely later Sansa and Arya's stories, but her change may be symbolized best in her making her first kill - she is no longer the naive knight of summer she was shown to be when she was first introduced in Renly's camp.  In these ways I believe the catalysts for transformation have already occured and further death is not necessary.  I do look forward to reading other's opinions though!

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They could just die.  How much better could Rings have been if Gandalf had stayed dead.  Resurrection lessens the significance of death.  Death should have a finality to it.  Death, followed by resurrection doesn't mean transformation.  It just means necromancy is at work.  How could dying and coming back improve the person?  It can't.  It only makes for a cheesy story.  Very nachosy.  A temporary reprieve is ok as long as the time limit is short and the person comes back less than whole.  Sort of like Beric, who suffers from slow physical decay.  The brain decays and so the memories degrade.  The hard drive is slowly breaking down so the stored data gets fragmented each day. 

I don't think Brienne will die by hanging.  I know her search for Sansa frustrated some of her fans because she was getting nowhere and doesn't know it.  That is usually a bad sign of someone getting set up for a fall.  Yes, Brienne is a warrior and those live in danger but I think she will die as a warrior on the battlefield.  I predict she squeezes out of that knot. 

Jon should die. It is a very nice completion to his arc.  Jaime is a wild card with a difficult ending to predict.  I don't think his story will take him out of King's Landing.  Seems to me, Jaime is set on playing the honorable KG.  I think he will fall off of that wagon but we will have to wait and see.

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I'm very pleased to enjoy another conversation with you @Lucius Lovejoy and thank you for your kind words.   Like you, this is here mostly to see what other folks think about this.   I've vacillated between thinking Jon and/or Brienne have died or not over the years.  There are good arguments for and against that's why it was important to me to put those possible "death" scene quotes in.   I share many of your sentiments about Beric and LSH.  It is not, however lost on me that you didn't mention the Others or wights.  Jon is in a most extraordinary situation, so close to the heart of ice magic and in direct sites of a fanatic,rogue Red Priestess.  Don't be shy, say it how you see, Ser.  

Could be 1 or 2 of these characters will die to become undead.  What does undead really do to any of them?  We see what fire revival does, but what does ice revival--if that's what it is as opposed to a preserving--do to any of them?  How does this state of being effect their missions?

It was a nice post and I do hope you will pop in as you are moved.  

 

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@Skahaz mo Kandaq, thank you for your thoughts here.  Some folks believe that Brienne and Jon have already died.   I think Jamie's got a very good shot at dying considering the company he's likely in.  He has been missing for 3 weeks.  In any other story I would be completely with you, nachos and all.  This marvel that is ASOIAF is not common and I think GRRM could very easily pull off killing and reviving half the characters and I would love it.   He could also not kill anyone else and that is just fine, too.   It's so interesting that you and Lucius Lovejoy both feel Jon needs to die to complete his arc.  

I always enjoy the side bets.   I will take yours for Jamie falling off the honor wagon and enjoy winning or losing to you because that's how this story moves me.  Stick around, Ser, you may have a few more takers! 

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17 minutes ago, Curled Finger said:

@Skahaz mo Kandaq, thank you for your thoughts here.  Some folks believe that Brienne and Jon have already died.   I think Jamie's got a very good shot at dying considering the company he's likely in.  He has been missing for 3 weeks.  In any other story I would be completely with you, nachos and all.  This marvel that is ASOIAF is not common and I think GRRM could very easily pull off killing and reviving half the characters and I would love it.   He could also not kill anyone else and that is just fine, too.   It's so interesting that you and Lucius Lovejoy both feel Jon needs to die to complete his arc.  

I always enjoy the side bets.   I will take yours for Jamie falling off the honor wagon and enjoy winning or losing to you because that's how this story moves me.  Stick around, Ser, you may have a few more takers! 

Perhaps I did not write my thoughts clearly.  I don't see the need for anyone to come back from death to complete their arc.  Death itself completes their arc.  Like the period at the end of the sentence.  I feel like Brienne's arc has yet to complete.  Jaime's is tough to read.  Does Jaime even have an arc.  I mean, if he's really an honorable man, he would feel guilty because his family stole the throne.  Never once has the man expressed remorse for betraying two of his kings.  Is there  real change in the man?  He's the same man to me.  To me, Jon has completed his arc and should stay dead.   All this death and resurrection lessen the impact of death.  I don't think Martin wants the reader to get blase about death.  I just posted something on the George has a message topic area and I am thinking Martin's anti-war message gets lost if death loses its significance.  I don't think he wants his readers to get complacent with death. 

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Interesting subject @Curled Finger. I'm not sure that Jaime or Brienne are dead or undead at this point.   If Brienne was resurrected, I doubt she would need a bandage on her face.  There is jeopardy for Jaime but I'm reminded that he is the 'golden man' of Bran's visions whatever that means.

Jon is probably dead and the only real candidate for resurrection.  To paraphrase Bran, Jon is an old hand at justice. The means by which Jon returns is up for grabs but the prophecy does call for the 'sword of justice' to return and we do have the salt tears and smoke requirement around Jon's 'death'.   He's not the only one, since the same is true for Dany.  

I think the comparison to Beric and Lady Stoneheart has more to do with what is lost when someone is resurrected.  This might be something to do with the 'fire consumes' part of the equation if you are raised using that magic.  While 'ice preserves' memory perhaps and thus the north remembers.  

I expect Jon's body will be placed in an ice cell for a time as we see him in Bran's vision - sleeping while all memory of warmth flees just as winter arrives in full force.  

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8 hours ago, Skahaz mo Kandaq said:

Perhaps I did not write my thoughts clearly.  I don't see the need for anyone to come back from death to complete their arc.  Death itself completes their arc.  Like the period at the end of the sentence.  I feel like Brienne's arc has yet to complete.  Jaime's is tough to read.  Does Jaime even have an arc.  I mean, if he's really an honorable man, he would feel guilty because his family stole the throne.  Never once has the man expressed remorse for betraying two of his kings.  Is there  real change in the man?  He's the same man to me.  To me, Jon has completed his arc and should stay dead.   All this death and resurrection lessen the impact of death.  I don't think Martin wants the reader to get blase about death.  I just posted something on the George has a message topic area and I am thinking Martin's anti-war message gets lost if death loses its significance.  I don't think he wants his readers to get complacent with death. 

Ah, I see I did misunderstand you.  Martin has such an interesting take on death and "life" after.  I do look forward to seeing how he deals with Jon and thank you for clarifying your meaning.

I find Jamie fascinating and do see his arc as that of lost honor and redemption.  I admit he and Theon were very hard for me to swallow on the 1st reads.  How could anyone recover from their dastardly deeds?  Jamie thinks often of killing Aerys, as you say, without guilt.  He dreams about not keeping his faith with Rhaegar.  Jamie's got more than enough guilt of his own without having to be responsible for Tywin, Tyrion or Cersei's actions.  But I digress, I'm not here to change your mind about anything.

I believe I stood with you about ASOIAF having an anti war message in the other topic.  It's clear to see how death not being a penalty for any character lessens the finality and impact of death.  Though I admit this afterlife of Martin's is fascinating in a dreadful sort of way.  

Thank you again for talking the time to clarify your stance.  

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4 minutes ago, LynnS said:

Interesting subject @Curled Finger. I'm not sure that Jaime or Brienne are dead or undead at this point.   If Brienne was resurrected, I doubt she would need a bandage on her face.  There is jeopardy for Jaime but I'm reminded that he is the 'golden man' of Bran's visions whatever that means.

Jon is probably dead and the only real candidate for resurrection.  To paraphrase Bran, Jon is an old hand at justice. The means by which Jon returns is up for grabs but the prophecy does call for the 'sword of justice' to return and we do have the salt tears and smoke requirement around Jon's 'death'.   He's not the only one, since the same is true for Dany.  

I think the comparison to Beric and Lady Stoneheart has more to do with what is lost when someone is resurrected.  This might be something to do with the 'fire consumes' part of the equation if you are raised using that magic.  While 'ice preserves' memory perhaps and thus the north remembers.  

I expect Jon's body will be placed in an ice cell for a time as we see him in Bran's vision - sleeping while all memory of warmth flees just as winter arrives in full force.  

Ah Lady, a warm welcome to you.  Your thoughts are always welcome!  No, I'm not sold that any of our 3 characters are dead or have died yet.   I see the potential for them having died, dying and about to die very soon though.   Excellent point about Brienne's bandage.   May I offer an alternative to a healing measure in perhaps disguise?   (I love this going to a rise in Brienne's ability to pull off deception.)  

Dang it, both of my wake up alarms have gone off.  It's time for work. As you are well aware I could read your thoughts for days, I will check in this evening to complete my own reply to your fine points!  Please feel free to add to your post as your head is such an interesting place.  

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Currently typing on my phone so I may need to come back to this. However, I am not fully convinced that Brienne or Jaime will die or than Jon is dead. In the latter’s case, he felt the cold but there was nothing to confirm his death. Now, I have a few ideas of how the Jon plot will be resolved but my phone is too fiddly to do that now. All I will say is that Jon’s “resurrection” might have more to do with getting his souls back into his body - safely stored in Ghost - than bringing a completely dead person, body and soul, back as with Lady Stoneheart and poor ol’ Beric Dondarrion. So, to me the story is more about how Jon’s brief time in Ghost will affect him mentally rather than how death will... as I’m not fully convinced his physical body is dead, let alone his spirit.

Regarding Brienne, in someways I don’t think she is the one at fault here nor does death need to be a rebirth for. In many ways, Brienne is the closest to a truly altruistic character in the series - certainly in regards to focus. She is very young still, only about twenty, yet she is the closest we have to an embodiment of knightly virtue. Lady Stoneheart is consumed by the madness and trauma of Catelyn’s death, so for her death will be about setting a distorted and rotten corpse to rest and free the spirit trapped within. Yet, I would say she has a purpose in that she is needed for Jaime to confront his past and complete his redemption. Whether that will involve a death and rebirth, I am unsure. I think LS’s role could go one of two ways - either she dies after her confrontation with Jaime, or only once Robb’s crown is with its rightful claimant. AFfC indicated that the BwB were heading into the Neck — it will be interesting if this is true and Jaime/Brienne go with them.

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@Curled Finger well written post as always my friend! Your question about planning going into the three POV's deaths opens up a whole lot of possibilities.

It might be worth noting that Brienne, Jaime and Jon have each endured some form captivity by Cat/LSH - Brienne with both her hanging and her vows to Cat, Jaime's imprisonment during ACoK (and his subsequent feelings of guilt over the Red Wedding), and Jon's childhood at Winterfell with his frosty stepmother, which could be called a form of captivity as he had no where else to go.

The three of them also appear to have choose their own forms of servitude/captivity at points - Jon with the Watch, Brienne with Cat and Jaime joining the Kingsguard to be nearer Cersei.

Strangely enough, Brienne, Jon and Jaime have all been held prisoner by other entities - Jon by the Wildlings; Brienne and Jaime by the Bloody Mummers.

Not sure what this could mean, but there are certainly many parallels between each of these characters. All three have had mentor figures who were eventually murdered through some betrayal - Ned for Jon, Renly/Cat for Brienne and Tywin for Jaime. It's also notable the fact that each of their mothers have passed away.

You know, I have never given much thought to the idea the Brienne may already be "dead" until now.  Might LSH have wanted to ensure Brienne's loyalty to the Jaime deception plot by killing her and then having Thoros bring her back? Perhaps creating her own Robert Strong type of servitude for the Maid of Tarth to endure? I'm not sure if Thoros and Cat would even know about the "undead slave" aspect of reanimation so take this with a pinch of salt.

Stoneheart and the BwB seemed to believe that Brienne and Jaime are in cahoots, thus meaning she would be in league with the IT and by extension the Freys - what's to stop her from simply warning the Kingslayer about this "Sansa/Hound" swindle when she got to him? The chance that Pod may die? Loyalty to the former Cat? It seems like an odd strategic move for the BwB to put so much trust in someone they have just hung from a tree...

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16 hours ago, Curled Finger said:

... Fire or ice they are dangerously close to death if not already dead in the cases of Jon and Brienne.   There is light at the end of AFFC and ADWD, it just takes imagination to see it.   Jon suffers at the hands of his sworn brothers of the Nights Watch:

Then Bowen Marsh stood there before him, tears running down his cheeks. "For the Watch." He punched Jon in the belly. When he pulled his hand away, the dagger stayed where he had buried it.

Jon fell to his knees. He found the dagger's hilt and wrenched it free. In the cold night air the wound was smoking. "Ghost," he whispered. Pain washed over him. Stick them with the pointy end. When the third dagger took him between the shoulder blades, he gave a grunt and fell face-first into the snow. He never felt the fourth knife. Only the cold …ADWD Jon VIII

Brienne was hanged (for you, @Nittanian) along with Pod and Hyle Hunt.  Lady Stoneheart, a “sort of person” Brienne was sworn to, gives the command to hang her.  We see through Brienne’s eyes:

Brienne felt the hemp constricting, digging into her skin, jerking her chin upward. Ser Hyle was cursing them eloquently, but not the boy. Podrick never lifted his eyes, not even when his feet were jerked up off the ground. If this is another dream, it is time for me to awaken. If this is real, it is time for me to die. All she could see was Podrick, the noose around his thin neck, his legs twitching. Her mouth opened. Pod was kicking, choking, dying. Brienne sucked the air in desperately, even as the rope was strangling her. Nothing had ever hurt so much.

She screamed a word. AFFC Brienne VIII

...

All 3 of these characters have undergone profound transformations.  ... Death in these settings is almost required for complete transformation.  ... Many ways reanimation could go for all 3 of them.  

...  Do these conflicted characters have to die to complete their transformations?  Is there some planning in these 3 experiencing life after death?  How do you see it possibly shaking out?

All men must die. That is your answer.

I'm not sure whether literal deaths are imminent for Jon, Jaime and Brienne, or whether I would use the word "reanimation" in connection with their rebirths, however. "Rebirth" seems to be the word that applies.

We know that the author uses symbolic rebirths and deaths throughout the novels: Dany burns on Drogo's funeral pyre, loses all of her hair, but is miraculously still alive - or is reborn - with her newly-hatched dragons. Cersei loses all of her hair as she is forced on her walk of shame from the Sept to the Red Keep but she is "reborn" (describes herself feeling like the baby Joffrey) in the arms of Ser Robert Strong. (Ser Robert Strong is another good example of a death and rebirth.) Like a good Tully, Catelyn is reborn as Lady Stoneheart when she emerges from the river that flows around her birthplace. The miller's boys die and Bran and Rickon soon emerge from the crypt. Arya is reborn a bunch of times as Arry, Weasel, Nan, Salty, Blind Beth, etc. Sansa is reborn as Alayne. I could go on, but we all get the point: some rebirths are fairly clearly preceded by pretty literal death (Dany, Stoneheart, Ser Robert Strong) and some are much more in the symbolic realm (Sansa, Arya, etc.)

It's always fun to spot something new in a re-read, and the excerpts you present in the OP as hors d'oeuvres offer some good hints.

I had not read the Bowen Marsh scene since taking an interest in the obsidian cache at the Fist of the First Men. Re-reading Bowen's line here, I think the author wants us to link the stabbing of Jon in ADwD and the "birth" of the dragonglass cache. The author writes of Bowen Marsh's move on Jon, "the dagger stayed where he had buried it." After not knowing who had buried the dragonglass items, including daggers, we are now told that Bowen Marsh has buried a dagger - in Jon's belly.

Recall that the obsidian cache is a buried bundle containing arrowheads, spear points and dagger blades made of dragon glass. As Jon is digging up the cache, he suspects he might be digging up a grave. We have no idea who buried the bundle although Jon suspects it was a member of the Night's Watch because the items are wrapped in a black cloak. There are important details used to describe the cache: to make my point here, I'll just say that the word "bundle" is used in connection with babies and discovery of the wolf pups (so there's a birth or rebirth image); the word "clinking" is used to describe the bundle, and that word is usually used only with coins or with mail worn under a cloak; and the bundle turns as Jon pulls it from where it was buried, so it becomes a "turncloak," in my reading of the scene.

So we have someone using his hands to open up a grave to find a bundle (baby). Pretty clear rebirth. In the Bowen Marsh parallel, we have someone burying a dagger in (someone wearing) a black cloak. This is the kind of math that only makes sense to someone who loves literature but, because we know that Jon (a turncloak after his attempted desertion to join Robb's army and his mission to the wildlings) has already dug up the turncloak bundle containing daggers, we can be confident that the dagger buried in the turncloak by Bowen Marsh will lead to a rebirth.

I've recently been examining the hand-dug graves in scenes with Shagwell / Dick Crabb, Ser Loras / Renly and (at the suggestion of @Lady Dacey) Arya / Praed, a sellsword who briefly accompanied Yoren's wagon train. Each of these burials seems to precede a rebirth. (Praed may represent the "birth" of Arya's "prayer" - the list of people she wants to kill.) So I thank you for reminding me of the parallels to Jon's gravedigging scene with the obsidian cache and these other gravediggers. Of course, I include the Quiet Isle's recently-arrived gravedigger in this group.

The other element I highlighted in your excerpts is the presence of Podrick Payne in Brienne's scene. I suspect one of Pod's symbolic functions is as the junior representative of House Payne. The only other known member of that House is Ser Ilyn Payne, who is the executioner. In his official role, Ser Ilyn is also known as The King's Justice. So we have big Justice traveling with Jaime and mini-Justice traveling with Brienne. (Split into two, like the sword Ice.) One of my old flights of symbolic and wordplay fancy is that the sword Ice was originally supposed to be called Just-ice. Ser Ilyn was the last person known to have used the sword Ice. Also, there is a long-running pun in the books around Ice / eyes.

All that palaver is preface to explain the line, "Podrick never lifted his eyes." As Pod is threatened with death, he does not lift his eyes. With the known association of eyes / Ice and the connection between Ser Ilyn and the sword Ice, I think the author is telling us that Pod refuses to engage in violence to save his own life; refuses to lift his "Ice". Brienne, on the other hand, calls out, "Sword!" She wants to save her companions, especially mini-Justice, Podrick Payne.

Could the message be that Brienne has been freed from her vows, just as a member of the Night's Watch is freed from his vows when he dies? She died when Rorge bit her face and she may have died again in this hanging - that freed her from two sets of vows - was there a third death to free her from the third set of vows? She swore to Renly, then Catelyn and then Jaime, so she would need three deaths. She feels that she failed in all three missions. But she is reborn here with a vow to save Pod.

I haven't paid as much attention to Jaime as I have to Jon and Brienne, so I'm not sure where the details might be pointing us but I have no doubt there will be rebirths and deaths for him, as with others of the POV characters.

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I thought it was interesting that you didn’t include Quentyn Martel in your group of dead/dying at the end of Dance... especially since his is death by fire, as opposed to going cold.

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I'm curious about what Dany means about a death more than death.

Quote

A Game of Thrones - Daenerys IX

"… don't want to wake the dragon …"

The red door was so far ahead of her, and she could feel the icy breath behind, sweeping up on her. If it caught her she would die a death that was more than death, howling forever alone in the darkness. She began to run.

Also what is meant by forever howling alone in the darkness.

Edited by LynnS

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Wow, so many really good points and interesting replies...Best to pick up where I left off and work through...

@LynnS, 

Jon is probably dead and the only real candidate for resurrection.  To paraphrase Bran, Jon is an old hand at justice. The means by which Jon returns is up for grabs but the prophecy does call for the 'sword of justice' to return and we do have the salt tears and smoke requirement around Jon's 'death'.   He's not the only one, since the same is true for Dany.  

He could easily be dead already making this line of thinking timely!   If 6 years is really considered timely.   Last year we had a lot of fun with a topic covering the dead and degrees of dead.   I won't veer off into Dany, but I do think it's clear she's at the very least had her symbolic death.  If all we get is symbolic death then you are well suited to explain it all!  

I think the comparison to Beric and Lady Stoneheart has more to do with what is lost when someone is resurrected.  This might be something to do with the 'fire consumes' part of the equation if you are raised using that magic.  While 'ice preserves' memory perhaps and thus the north remembers.  

Let me throw a few wights in with LSH and Beric because we know the Others are not dead...but are the greenseers in the cave with Bran?   Like the bit about fire consuming memories or even personality while ice may preserve both.   Well done! 

I expect Jon's body will be placed in an ice cell for a time as we see him in Bran's vision - sleeping while all memory of warmth flees just as winter arrives in full force.

 Ah, let's hope it's only a memory of warmth our Jon forgets and not his moving efforts to unite people against the ultimate threat!

Yep, what did I say?   Your mind is an interesting place, Lady.   

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10 hours ago, Faera said:

Currently typing on my phone so I may need to come back to this. However, I am not fully convinced that Brienne or Jaime will die or than Jon is dead. In the latter’s case, he felt the cold but there was nothing to confirm his death. Now, I have a few ideas of how the Jon plot will be resolved but my phone is too fiddly to do that now. All I will say is that Jon’s “resurrection” might have more to do with getting his souls back into his body - safely stored in Ghost - than bringing a completely dead person, body and soul, back as with Lady Stoneheart and poor ol’ Beric Dondarrion. So, to me the story is more about how Jon’s brief time in Ghost will affect him mentally rather than how death will... as I’m not fully convinced his physical body is dead, let alone his spirit.

Regarding Brienne, in someways I don’t think she is the one at fault here nor does death need to be a rebirth for. In many ways, Brienne is the closest to a truly altruistic character in the series - certainly in regards to focus. She is very young still, only about twenty, yet she is the closest we have to an embodiment of knightly virtue. Lady Stoneheart is consumed by the madness and trauma of Catelyn’s death, so for her death will be about setting a distorted and rotten corpse to rest and free the spirit trapped within. Yet, I would say she has a purpose in that she is needed for Jaime to confront his past and complete his redemption. Whether that will involve a death and rebirth, I am unsure. I think LS’s role could go one of two ways - either she dies after her confrontation with Jaime, or only once Robb’s crown is with its rightful claimant. AFfC indicated that the BwB were heading into the Neck — it will be interesting if this is true and Jaime/Brienne go with them.

Yah phone typing sucks, but you did remarkably well with spelling and punctuation.  Faera, I look forward to so many conversations with you it's really nice to have you here.   Let's get to it. 

Proof of the death of anyone in this topic is interpretive at this point.  I've gone back and forth with all 3.  You've read Jon's stabbing with the eyes of a believer.   He can be stronger than the assault and something much larger than small men will do him in.   I get that completely.  I do like the qualification of Jon being reunited with his body as opposed to a simple (yah, I'm always amazed at what I consider simple now) kiss of life or some other ritual that would interrupt a soul rest.  

Brienne fans unite - fist bump- it's clear what I think of Brienne, though I tried very carefully to hide it in the OP.  She's got to change with her experiences.  Perhaps her hanging was a near death experience even though she was far too worried about Pod for us to see any tunnels or white lights she may have seen.  Whatever happened to her at the end of the rope was immensely important to her character.  

I wonder if we will see Jamie hang?  At any rate, I do appreciate your thoughtful reply and hope you will jump in wherever you feel compelled to do so, Lady.

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@Seams, I think I will resort to outline format with you because you put so much into your reply.  It's always good to have your unique perspective on any topic.  

1.  That was a bold opening, Lady, and well said.  All men must die!  Still all men must serve 1st.

2.  Like a good Tully, Catelyn is reborn as Lady Stoneheart when she emerges from the river that flows around her birthplace.   Aside from the utter cleverness with that sentence, we do have a real sort of rebirth with LSH.   That is real as opposed to symbolic.   But is it really life this wraith endures?  

3.  I think the author is telling us that Pod refuses to engage in violence to save his own life; refuses to lift his "Ice". Brienne, on the other hand, calls out, "Sword!" She wants to save her companions, especially mini-Justice, Podrick Payne.  Who I am to argue with symbolism or its brilliant minion?  Brienne does notice Hyle cursing at the beginning of her hanging, but it is Pod she seems to dwell on.   In that moment she will not sacrifice Pod for Jamie.   It's very powerful. 

4.  I haven't paid as much attention to Jaime as I have to Jon and Brienne, so I'm not sure where the details might be pointing us but I have no doubt there will be rebirths and deaths for him, as with others of the POV characters.   Ah, but if I know you as well as I think I do, there is no doubt you will learn more about Jamie during the life of this topic.   We will be right here awaiting your findings, Lady!  

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3 hours ago, LiveFirstDieLater said:

I thought it was interesting that you didn’t include Quentyn Martel in your group of dead/dying at the end of Dance... especially since his is death by fire, as opposed to going cold.

I thought about making a whole Ice/Fire characters thing out of the topic, but Quentyn is more work than I cared to put into quoting and Mel is a matter of interpretation.  Dany's death is pretty symbolic.  We had a topic last year called Dead or Somewhat Dead that allowed a broader conversation of all the characters.  It was a lot of fun and very eye opening.  I'm just currently preoccupied with Jamie and Brienne.  Jon was a very natural extension of that immersion--in my mind any way.    You're certainly welcome to share your thoughts on death by fire or ice as far as that goes.  What say ye about Quentyn?  

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3 hours ago, LynnS said:

I'm curious about what Dany means about a death more than death.

Also what is meant by forever howling alone in the darkness.

A death more than death...LSH is the 1st thing that comes to mind.  Reanimation? Rebirth? 

Howling alone in the darkness could speak to isolation or it could point us to Jon's anticipated time in Ghost.   Or both.   Or I could be completely off.   I hope you get a lot more answers on both.   

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11 hours ago, Leo of House Cartel said:

@Curled Finger well written post as always my friend! Your question about planning going into the three POV's deaths opens up a whole lot of possibilities.

It might be worth noting that Brienne, Jaime and Jon have each endured some form captivity by Cat/LSH - Brienne with both her hanging and her vows to Cat, Jaime's imprisonment during ACoK (and his subsequent feelings of guilt over the Red Wedding), and Jon's childhood at Winterfell with his frosty stepmother, which could be called a form of captivity as he had no where else to go.

The three of them also appear to have choose their own forms of servitude/captivity at points - Jon with the Watch, Brienne with Cat and Jaime joining the Kingsguard to be nearer Cersei.

Strangely enough, Brienne, Jon and Jaime have all been held prisoner by other entities - Jon by the Wildlings; Brienne and Jaime by the Bloody Mummers.

Not sure what this could mean, but there are certainly many parallels between each of these characters. All three have had mentor figures who were eventually murdered through some betrayal - Ned for Jon, Renly/Cat for Brienne and Tywin for Jaime. It's also notable the fact that each of their mothers have passed away.

You know, I have never given much thought to the idea the Brienne may already be "dead" until now.  Might LSH have wanted to ensure Brienne's loyalty to the Jaime deception plot by killing her and then having Thoros bring her back? Perhaps creating her own Robert Strong type of servitude for the Maid of Tarth to endure? I'm not sure if Thoros and Cat would even know about the "undead slave" aspect of reanimation so take this with a pinch of salt.

Stoneheart and the BwB seemed to believe that Brienne and Jaime are in cahoots, thus meaning she would be in league with the IT and by extension the Freys - what's to stop her from simply warning the Kingslayer about this "Sansa/Hound" swindle when she got to him? The chance that Pod may die? Loyalty to the former Cat? It seems like an odd strategic move for the BwB to put so much trust in someone they have just hung from a tree...

Thank you for your kind words and welcome, Leo!  Leave it to you to take the conversation to the next level.   There are many parallels between our trio, more than I even realized!  I always lump Tyrion in with Jon and Dany having lost a mother, but I never remember it with Jamie and even less with Brienne.  Not to mention their captivities.   Good show!  

We just wrapped up a very long discussion regarding Brienne and Jamie with LSH.  There were a good many folks who adamantly believe Brienne died on that noose.  It adds a layer of intrigue to Brienne I think is missed by folks who don't at least consider it. Certainly we are led to believe LSH could command Thoros--or he may have simply taken it upon himself to make a champion.  Whatever is going on with Jamie, Brienne and the BWB I am certain it will involve all those vows to Catelyn Tully, perhaps newer vows sworn to LSH.  Hadn't occurred to me to drawn a comparison between Brienne and Robert Strong.   Shiny!!!

Oh Leo, I'm positive there is more than 1 agenda going on with LSH's BWB cell group at this time.  It's likely Jamie's life will be a price to pay for falling prey to LSH.  There is so much there that could really require more than 1 "death to self".   There is also something to the wisdom of what is dead will never die, too, I think.   

Sorry, I've got to go see what's happening in YOUR shiny new topic, Ser!  

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