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Black Crow

Heresy 206: of Starks and Walls

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3 hours ago, Matthew. said:

Interesting. I wonder whether he means the vaults as a whole are cold, or that there is a coldness centralized around the Black Gate. The latter is tempting, particularly in light of another quality of the Gate:

Yes, again I'd go back to the response I've lately given to Lynn. Placing a hand or an offering into the mouth of a weirwood face is a means of communicating with the Old Gods and in this regard its not a reference to the Black Gate but rather the gate reflects this writ large. In effect when the Scooby Gang pass through the mouth they are entering the realm of the Old Gods - and it appears to be a cold one 

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My take is that Black Gate involves a glamour of some sort-probably the ice/weirwood sort.The glow is reminiscent of the kind of light display associated with Melisandre/Rattleshirt though maybe a different gem.

Spoiler for The Mystery Knight;

Spoiler

Iirc Bloodraven is suspected of using moonstone to glamour in The Mystery Knight as opposed to Mel's rubies.

 

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26 minutes ago, SirArthur said:

Not in that regard. More that it seems to reassemble the stairway down to the Black Gate more or less exactly 50 leagues away from it. Hodor both times has to duck. Both times he fails. Both times we have stairways going up (and also down in case of the tower). 

They found themselves in a gloomy strongroom, barely large enough to hold the four of them. Steps built into the inner wall of the tower curved away upward to their left, downward to their right, behind iron grates. Bran looked up and saw another grate just above his head. A murder hole. He was glad there was no one up there now to pour boiling oil down on them. Bran III

The well was the thing he liked the least, though. It was a good twelve feet across, all stone, with steps built into its side, circling down and down into darkness. The walls were damp and covered with niter, but none of them could see the water at the bottom, not even Meera with her sharp hunter's eyes. "Maybe it doesn't have a bottom," Bran said uncertainly. Bran IV

 

The text definitly does not mirror that but he also is not contradicting. Just the double scene with the ducking Hodor made me think why we have this scene mirrored at the Black Gate.

Ah well [sorry], we're talking at cross purposes here. The secret "passage" across the lake is as I described it. The door lintel is part of the tower and an entirely separate matter. I'm not at all convinced that Bran banging his head when entering the tower is significant, after all it happened frequently while he was living in Winterfell. The presence of a well within the tower seemingly not unlike the one they later find leading to the Black Gate is interesting, but as they neither descend it nor anything emerges from it before they leave again, we never learn whether there might be a portal at the bottom - and indeed if we did it would spoil the surprise when they reach the Nightfort.

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On 3/10/2018 at 10:11 AM, Feather Crystal said:

While the evidence of walking on leaves is compelling, the idea of Howland and the crannognan being connected to the Faith is too much of a conflict.

I think that the idea isn’t that Howland has adopted the Faith of the Seven, but rather he would be taking on the identity of a Septon to use the religious beliefs of the Southron common-folk to create unrest and form an army.  (And a behind the scene schemer creating an army out of thin air is a repeating motive in the books).   Now one may make an argument that Howland shouldn’t have sufficient knowledge of the religion to make a convincing Septon.

For example, I don’t think anyone sees Varys or Illyrio as devout followers of the Seven, but they are taking pains to bring a Septa on board to teach their Eliza, Young Griff, the religion of the Faith.  I don’t think it’s an adoption or an endorsement of the religion, but an awareness that Young Griff needs to win the hearts and minds of the Southron common-folk, and one of the best ways to do that is through their religion.  (Perhaps a lesson that Stannis should have heeded).

 

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8 hours ago, Matthew. said:

I had always assumed, based on the presentation of the LH's story, as well as the gods and sorcery of the CotF becoming the gods and sorcery of the FM, that we were to read the Wall as a joint effort between the FM and the CotF.

If that was the case, though, then the CotF must have been feeling extraordinarily benevolent in regards to the Wall's placement: the southern border of the Haunted Forest, the largest tract of deep forest in modern Westeros, and possibly the largest even at that time.

If we take CotF and FM friendship at face value (which, personally, I do not), and assume that the Wall took centuries to complete, this would imply that the CotF either willingly accepted the Haunted Forest as a loss - despite already conceding so much land in the Pact - and only took up residence when the coming of the Andals forced them to do so.

Or, even more bizarrely, the CotF of the Haunted Forest spent centuries walling themselves in on the dangerous side of the Wall; even accounting for warded caves, that would seem a rather uncomfortable way to live.

This assumes the forest was there before the Wall, I'd bet it was the other way around.  Perhaps the whole area around the gift was forest, and it was cleared by men.  Or there was no forest, and something the Children did created the haunted forest.  Either way, I bet it is an important clue that we have heavy forests North of the Wall that the Watch repeatedly cuts down as it grows towards the Wall, but no forest on the South side of the Wall, and really not much in the way of settlements to explain it being cleared.

As for generosity, it really depends who is on which side.  We were told at the signing of The Pact that Children would keep the deep forests, men would settle the open lands, and the Pact was signed at The Isle of Faces.  So no North/South boundary and Children far South of the Wall then. 

If Children were attacked after the Pact was broken, they may have fortified the North and abandoned South of the Wall to men. 

Or at some point they were fighting a common enemy and built the Wall to protect the lands to the South which were shared by men and Children. 

I don't see any sort of 2nd pact where they both agreed to use a border and built the Wall over it together.

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5 hours ago, Frey family reunion said:

I think that the idea isn’t that Howland has adopted the Faith of the Seven, but rather he would be taking on the identity of a Septon to use the religious beliefs of the Southron common-folk to create unrest and form an army.  (And a behind the scene schemer creating an army out of thin air is a repeating motive in the books).   Now one may make an argument that Howland shouldn’t have sufficient knowledge of the religion to make a convincing Septon.

For example, I don’t think anyone sees Varys or Illyrio as devout followers of the Seven, but they are taking pains to bring a Septa on board to teach their Eliza, Young Griff, the religion of the Faith.  I don’t think it’s an adoption or an endorsement of the religion, but an awareness that Young Griff needs to win the hearts and minds of the Southron common-folk, and one of the best ways to do that is through their religion.  (Perhaps a lesson that Stannis should have heeded).

 

While I remain unconvinced that Howland Reed and the High Sparrow are one and the same, convincingly professing the faith of the Seven ought not to be overly difficult given that fundamentally it is a bringing together of elements of other faiths, just as the original Catholic church grafted its teachings on to older faiths. His success appears to derive from rejecting the hierarchy of the church in favour of the basics which may in fact be tapping into the old basic faiths. 

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5 hours ago, Brad Stark said:

This assumes the forest was there before the Wall, I'd bet it was the other way around.  Perhaps the whole area around the gift was forest, and it was cleared by men.  Or there was no forest, and something the Children did created the haunted forest.  Either way, I bet it is an important clue that we have heavy forests North of the Wall that the Watch repeatedly cuts down as it grows towards the Wall, but no forest on the South side of the Wall, and really not much in the way of settlements to explain it being cleared.

As for generosity, it really depends who is on which side.  We were told at the signing of The Pact that Children would keep the deep forests, men would settle the open lands, and the Pact was signed at The Isle of Faces.  So no North/South boundary and Children far South of the Wall then. 

If Children were attacked after the Pact was broken, they may have fortified the North and abandoned South of the Wall to men. 

Or at some point they were fighting a common enemy and built the Wall to protect the lands to the South which were shared by men and Children. 

I don't see any sort of 2nd pact where they both agreed to use a border and built the Wall over it together.

:agree:North of the Wall is the last bastion of the old magics, hence my post at the top of this page.

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On 3/10/2018 at 7:03 PM, Matthew. said:

I think they need not go through the tedium of re-explaining the prior theory, citing the same quotes all over again

What they tend to quote is other fans, or they simply restate other fans, as if those concepts were canonical.

The reason they do this is very simple: they have literally forgotten the canon or objective facts (that they read months or years ago) in favor of the fanon (that they read minutes ago).

For instance, there must have been thousands of posts on this site from people claiming that GRRM told D&D who Jon's parents are.  But if challenged, they can never pony up a link... because there is no link... because as far as we know, GRRM never did tell D&D who Jon's parents are.  At best, he seems to have told them who Jon's mother is.

So it's not surprising that every so often, guys like me come along and say things like that.  We're just telling the truth.

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I don't have a link handy but as I very clearly recall, the question concerned Jon's mother. They answered and he smiled.

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12 minutes ago, Black Crow said:

I don't have a link handy but as I very clearly recall, the question concerned Jon's mother. They answered and he smiled.

That is how I remembered it also, and I agree that doesn't confirm or deny anything. He could just be pleased that they didn't guess it.

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2 hours ago, JNR said:

What they tend to quote is other fans, or they simply restate other fans, as if those concepts were canonical.

The reason they do this is very simple: they have literally forgotten the canon or objective facts (that they read months or years ago) in favor of the fanon (that they read minutes ago).

For instance, there must have been thousands of posts on this site from people claiming that GRRM told D&D who Jon's parents are.  But if challenged, they can never pony up a link... because there is no link... because as far as we know, GRRM never did tell D&D who Jon's parents are.  At best, he seems to have told them who Jon's mother is.

These are things that are both true in the abstract and irrelevant in the concrete.

Anytime the discussion is no longer a discussion about ASOIAF, but a discussion about the discussion of ASOIAF, it is veering into derailment territory, so context is important. It is one thing to argue about head canon when someone is citing their head canon to dismiss other people's ideas, another thing to argue about head canon just to be pedantic, and something else entirely to argue about some future scenario where head canon might exist.

While it's true that there is an occasional bad habit within Heresy of ideas evolving from "X might be true" to "we know X," there is also a more-than-occasional bad habit within Heresy specifically of people turning things into proxy arguments against people that are not present, about topics that are not under discussion.

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10 hours ago, Black Crow said:

North of the Wall is the last bastion of the old magics, hence my post at the top of this page.

This is the way I lean as well; put another way, the Wall as we see it now does not divide the lands of the living from the lands of the dead. The "Other" side of the Wall is teeming with life (or, it was)--a vast forest, diverse human cultures, giants, CotF.

Which raises a question: why would anyone live on what is, ostensibly, the nightmare side of the Wall? In truth, there's probably no single answer, and there may have been a variety of mundane factors in play, but I suspect the story is missing important details and context.

Above all, I'm interested in the timeline: Are the Beyond-the-Wallers, across the board, the descendants of those that were pressured northward after the Wall was raised, or peoples that were already present before and during the Wall's construction?

Like you, I lean toward the latter, especially as regards the CotF.

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2 minutes ago, Matthew. said:

Which raises a question: why would anyone live on what is, ostensibly, the nightmare side of the Wall? In truth, there's probably no single answer, and there may have been a variety of mundane factors in play, but I suspect the story is missing important details and context.

We know Bran's speculation why nobody lives in the Gift or the New Gift, although it is really good land as Jojen mentions: Wildling raids have driven all the settlers away. Which for me is further proof that the Wall is not even remotely functioning against Wildlings and hasn't been for centuries.  

There real question would be more, why the Wildlings go back over the Wall.

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3 hours ago, JNR said:

What they tend to quote is other fans, or they simply restate other fans, as if those concepts were canonical.

The reason they do this is very simple: they have literally forgotten the canon or objective facts (that they read months or years ago) in favor of the fanon (that they read minutes ago).

For instance, there must have been thousands of posts on this site from people claiming that GRRM told D&D who Jon's parents are.  But if challenged, they can never pony up a link... because there is no link... because as far as we know, GRRM never did tell D&D who Jon's parents are.  At best, he seems to have told them who Jon's mother is.

So it's not surprising that every so often, guys like me come along and say things like that.  We're just telling the truth.

This may be the link referred to.  We only have 2nd or 3rd hand accounts of the interview, so we don't know if GRRM told them they were correct, even though the title of this article says they are.  Other articles simply say GRRM "smiled" which seems more to his character. 

Obviously their answer wasn't too far from what GRRM looked for, or they wouldn't be making TV shows.  It isn't a big a leap to believe GRRM told them everything central to the plot, which includes who Jon's parents are.  And I can't believe they wouldn't ask, or he wouldn't answer if they did.

But this brings up another point - simply providing a link doesn't prove anything.  I can say GRRM personally told me Hodor is Jon Snow's father, I can publish an article and give you a link to it, and no one (other than GRRM) can prove me wrong.  A link to an article isn't proof of anything.

If we have a published source of an interview, especially if we have multiple people hearing him talk, or if we have video, that is hard to fake and should consider it authentic.  Beyond that, everything is speculation, and of course, speculation is welcome on heresy.

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1 hour ago, SirArthur said:

We know Bran's speculation why nobody lives in the Gift or the New Gift, although it is really good land as Jojen mentions: Wildling raids have driven all the settlers away. Which for me is further proof that the Wall is not even remotely functioning against Wildlings and hasn't been for centuries.  

There real question would be more, why the Wildlings go back over the Wall.

Firstly, to answer the easier question of the two...the wildlings go back over the Wall, because if they are caught south of it their life is forfeit. They would be executed as readily as a Watch deserter.

Ned wanted to settle people in the Gift and/or the new Gift, and I imagine the reason why no one lived there before was because it belonged to someone. If it was Ned's dream to settle people on it, then I'm thinking it used to belong to House Stark.

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1 hour ago, SirArthur said:

We know Bran's speculation why nobody lives in the Gift or the New Gift, although it is really good land as Jojen mentions: Wildling raids have driven all the settlers away. Which for me is further proof that the Wall is not even remotely functioning against Wildlings and hasn't been for centuries.  

There real question would be more, why the Wildlings go back over the Wall.

The short answer to the question is because its their home and they have no need to kneel to anyone - the present assumed emergency being exceptional.

As to the Gifts, a more important question might be why its depopulated and in need of settlers in the first place?

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54 minutes ago, Brad Stark said:

This may be the link referred to.  We only have 2nd or 3rd hand accounts of the interview, so we don't know if GRRM told them they were correct, even though the title of this article says they are.  Other articles simply say GRRM "smiled" which seems more to his character. 

Obviously their answer wasn't too far from what GRRM looked for, or they wouldn't be making TV shows.  It isn't a big a leap to believe GRRM told them everything central to the plot, which includes who Jon's parents are.  And I can't believe they wouldn't ask, or he wouldn't answer if they did.

But this brings up another point - simply providing a link doesn't prove anything.  I can say GRRM personally told me Hodor is Jon Snow's father, I can publish an article and give you a link to it, and no one (other than GRRM) can prove me wrong.  A link to an article isn't proof of anything.

If we have a published source of an interview, especially if we have multiple people hearing him talk, or if we have video, that is hard to fake and should consider it authentic.  Beyond that, everything is speculation, and of course, speculation is welcome on heresy.

I think I recall some round table discussion where they indicated that George was testing them as to how much thought they put into the book.  He questioned them as to who Jon Snow's mother was, and they said he seemed pleased with their answer.  During the round table I don't recall them actually saying that they guessed Lyanna, but I assumed that's who they would have guessed. 

But the trick for most of the readers has always been figuring out that Lyanna was Jon's mother.  Once you figured that out, Rhaegar became the automatic assumption as to the father.  So when R + L = J crowd dispute that this theory seems too obvious, I think they are mainly disputing that it's too obvious that Lyanna is Jon's mother. 

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Posted (edited)
17 minutes ago, Black Crow said:

As to the Gifts, a more important question might be why its depopulated and in need of settlers in the first place?

As I said, Bran suggests Wildling raids. Bran III aSoS does not only have the tower we discussed but a lot of other things in it as well. As well as the answer to Feather's question whom it belonged to and when. I just don't want to start a quote orgy.

Edited by SirArthur

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11 minutes ago, Black Crow said:

The short answer to the question is because its their home and they have no need to kneel to anyone - the present assumed emergency being exceptional.

As to the Gifts, a more important question might be why its depopulated and in need of settlers in the first place?

The first gift - aka Brandon's Gift - was supposedly given by Brandon the Builder to the Watch for their sustenance. The New Gift was Queen Alysanne's idea, and it angered the Starks, but it's not depopulated. There are holdfasts, most notably Queenscrown, and there are northern clans that live there.

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2 minutes ago, Feather Crystal said:

The first gift - aka Brandon's Gift - was supposedly given by Brandon the Builder to the Watch for their sustenance.

Yeah. That is the thing. There is a difference between a wikipedia article, the asoiaf search function and the actual book. Brandon the Builder is suggested but the suggestion can also be read as another Bradon later. And it is subtle hinted that it was from another Brandon for overthrowing the Night's King. And in my book the "sustenance and support" is written in italic. Something the search function does not have. And a meaning I would not get out of the search function. 

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